The boyfriend of the late Amy Winehouse has been cleared of raping a woman who slept in his bed, prompting criticism of the decision to prosecute him.
Reg Traviss, 35, was acquitted by a jury at Southwark Crown Court yesterday after less than three hours deliberation.
Leaving court he hit out at the authorities for not stopping “the train” of a very weak prosecution and in an unusual move his barrister claimed there could have been a miscarriage of justice if his team hadn’t identified CCTV footage which contradicted the complainant’s evidence.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had alleged Traviss twice raped her at his central London flat after they got drunk together on December 30 last year.
She said despite waking to find him attacking her she went back to bed with him to sleep but found him doing it again.
Mr Traviss said the police should have dropped the investigation after looking at CCTV that contradicted her version of events.
She told investigators she was so drunk she could not stand up and would have been refused service by a taxi driver so stayed at Traviss’s home, but footage showed her walking freely and unaided to get in a taxi to his flat.
“I am really relieved, really relieved it’s all over,” he said. “I never did it.
“The last nine months or however long has been crazy. It feels like anyone can make a complaint and end up having their day in court.
“Being impartial, that’s fair enough and I think it is right. I can understand why it’s like that but in reality a train starts running and in this case the person who made the complaint wasn’t investigated, the police didn’t know anything about her.”
The film director said the authorities did not want to stop “the train” of the prosecution for various reasons.
“In a nutshell she is either mentally ill or she is evil and had an agenda,” he added. “Whether or not that worked out or would be fulfilled, she was also on that train and had to see it through to the end.”
The woman had told the court she woke in his bed with him raping her.
He stopped when asked, she said, and they went and sat on his sofa and had a glass of wine.
She told the court she trusted him to return to bed with her to sleep but woke up again later with him raping her again, though it felt like a dream and she didn’t really understand what was happening.
Under cross examination she told the court she could not leave the flat because she was exhausted, did not know where her knickers were and passed out upon waking.
She said she was unsure if she had been raped the second time until she had thought about it, finally reporting it on January 18, following a big night out clubbing, and a trip to New York.
Traviss, who was going out with Amy Winehouse when she died in July last year, had told the court he was shocked when he learned who had made the allegations as he had considered her a friend and, until his arrest, had wondered if they could be more.
Mr Traviss’s barrister Ian Winter QC hit out and said the allegations should not have got so far.
“I don’t think in my career I have defended a case where I have been so sure of my client’s innocence,” he said. “What is unbelievable is that if we hadn’t found them coming out of the nightclub on that CCTV which the police had, and the footage of them walking to the toilets, there could have been a real risk of a miscarriage of justice.
“When I saw the CCTV it was clear she could not have been that drunk.
“The Crown should not have brought the case and I don’t think the police looked at the CCTV.”