Manchester police officer cleared of rape allegation against 20-year-old student in her home

James Darnton was found not guilty of the allegation that occurred in 2009

A Greater Manchester police officer has been cleared of raping a 20-year-old student in her home following a trial as Liverpool Crown Court this week.

The young woman was allegedly attacked by Greater Manchester police constable, James Andrew Darnton, after she reached out to the police for advice when her ex-boyfriend threatened to post naked photos of her online.

Darnton was found not guilty of the alleged assault in 2009 after being suspended from the police force since the allegations first came to light in 2021.

On Thursday 11th April 2024, he received a not guilty verdict by a judge at Liverpool Crown Court after the prosecution offered no further evidence following the completion of the complainant’s evidence, Manchester Evening News reports.

It was previously alleged that while working as a constable, he first met the young woman with a colleague after she requested police support when he ex-boyfriend threatened to put indecent images of her online.

Darnton, now 35, had returned to her home in Davyhulme, Urmston alone again in summer 2009, where he told the woman that “no one will listen” to the threats made by her ex-boyfriend as she was from a “broken home” and a “brown person”.

The student, who was 20 at the time, then claims that Darnton followed her into her utility room and kissed her, before raping her over her worktop.

The prosecution, Owen Edwards KC, told the court that when interviewing Darnton, he said he had no recollection because of the passage of time that had passed.

He does accept that records show he visited the young woman on two separate occasions.

The prosecutor said “he denies any such sexual contact” and that “he accepts that it would be profoundly wrong to have sexual intercourse with a young woman while investigating her complaint.”

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