Rape jury fails to reach verdict in trial of man accused of park attack
A JURY has failed to reach a verdict in the trial of a man accused of raping a drunken schoolgirl in a park.
The panel sitting at Plymouth Crown Court could not agree whether Craig Goldstone, aged 28, had sexually assaulted the teenager.
Judge Graham Cottle discharged the jury of eight women and four men after almost eight hours of deliberation.
He asked the foreman whether they would reach a majority decision after the week-long trial if given more time.
The foreman said they would not and several other jurors shook their heads.
Goldstone had denied raping the girl in Devonport Park on July 5 last year.
Joss Ticehurst, for the Crown Prosecution Service, asked for a week to review the case.
He said the alleged victim would be consulted before any decision would be made about asking for a retrial.
Goldstone, of no fixed address, remains to be sentenced after admitting escaping from lawful custody after his arrest.
The jury heard he slipped out of Charles Cross Police Station through an unlocked door after being left on his own.
Judge Cottle remanded Goldstone in custody until Monday next week.
The jury had heard the teenager claim she had been drinking cider with a friend in the park on that Thursday night.
She claimed she had met a man who was walking his dog and her friend had left.
The girl then said she was dragged into bushes and raped while "paralytic" and "half-asleep" because of the drink.
Goldstone told the jury in evidence that the girl was not as drunk as she claimed and they had consensual sex.
The jury heard that he had been arrested early the next morning and was held in custody until Saturday July 7.
Goldstone said he was left alone by an officer in a waiting room before a video identification parade at Charles Cross police station. He said he walked out through an open door wearing flip-flops and a paper suit.
Goldstone claimed it was his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder which gave him the urge to escape.
The jury was told Goldstone was at large until that evening when he was found hiding under a bed at a house in Plymouth.