Man cleared of Barnoldswick park rape

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A 23-YEAR-OLD man has been cleared of raping a teenager in the children’s play area of a Barnoldswick park.

Dale Clifton was found not guilty of attacking the girl in July, 2005, after a week-long trial at Burnley Crown Court.

The defendant, of Cornmill Place, Barnoldswick, was discharged from the dock by Judge Jonathan Gibson.

The court had heard claims Clifton, then aged about 17, had pushed the teenager into a wooden pirate ship and raped her as she pleaded with him to stop. The girl had been on her way to a party after a girl’s night out.

She was said to have gone to a friend’s home, hysterical and injured, after the alleged attack and later tried to take her life. The defendant had been arrested last October after the girl had been in hospital, confided in a nurse what she claimed had happened and the nurse supported her in calling the police.

Clifton told the jury he did not rape the girl. The hearing had been told how when he was questioned by police, he accepted he and the 16-year-old had had sex but said it was with consent.

The defendant told officers the girl had been “all over him” when they had met earlier in the evening and claimed they had also had sex in the toilets at the Tower Bar in Colne.