Amy Winehouse"s ex Reg Traviss cleared of rape

Former boyfriend of Amy Winehouse CLEARED of raping woman friend while she slept after drunken night outWoman claimed Reg Traviss attacked her after they had been drinkingBut jury agreed with his defence that New Year's Eve sex was consensualFilmmaker hit out at prosecutors and argued he should have been given anonymity during trial

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UPDATED:

18:51 GMT, 13 December 2012

Not guilty: Reg Traviss pictured outside Southwark Crown Court after being cleared of rape on Thursday

Not guilty: Reg Traviss pictured outside Southwark Crown Court after being cleared of rape on Thursday

Amy Winehouse's former boyfriend today spoke out about the nine-month ordeal he suffered after being accused of raping a woman while she slept in his bed.

Reg Traviss described his rape trial as being like a 'runaway train' as he celebrated walking free from Southwark Crown Court when a jury acquitted him of all charges.

A 27-year-old friend of his had accused him of twice raping her at his flat in Marylebone, central London, in the early hours of New Year's Eve last year.

The 35-year-old film director – who was going out with Back To Black singer Winehouse when she died in July last year – said the pair had consensual sex after a night out drinking together.

The unnamed woman denied that she had consented, and accused Traviss of saying, 'I've always wanted to do this to you' as he sexually assaulted her.

Hearing the verdicts, Traviss closed his eyes and bowed his head.

Emerging from the dock, he thanked Judge Deborah Taylor and hugged his family and friends.

Leaving
court he hit out at the authorities for not dropping the weak prosecution case, and said he hoped to fall in love again after
losing Winehouse, thanking his current girlfriend, actress Sheridan Smith, for supporting him during the trial.

He said the 'nauseating' trauma of the false allegations had compounded the grief he felt in the wake of the singer's death: 'It has been a difficult 18 months, it's been unreal in the true sense of the term.'

Speaking on the steps outside Southwark Crown Court, 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, but footage showed her walking freely and unaided with Mr Traviss to get in a taxi to his flat.

He said: 'I am really relieved, really relieved it's all over. 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.'

Lovers: The film director was dating Amy Winehouse at the time of her death last year

Lovers: The film director was dating Amy Winehouse at the time of her death last year

He added that he had always been confident that the police, Crown Prosecution Service and judge did not believe he was guilty.

Calling
for anonymity for those accused of sex crimes, he said: 'I definitely
think in cases like this, no one believed it but my name was still
associated with those headlines.

'That's going to be the case unless anonymity is given to the accused in cases like this.'

Traviss branded his accuser 'either mentally ill or evil' and said he had not seen her since the night they had sex.

His
lawyer, Ian Winter QC, said: 'It is an exceptional case and I don't
think in my career that I have defended a case where I have been so sure
of my client's innocence.

'What
is unbelievable is that if we hadn't found them coming out of the club
on that CCTV, which the police had totally failed to identify, there was
a real risk of a miscarriage of justice.'

reg

Allegations: Traviss always denied that he had sexually assaulted the unnamed woman last December

The director,
who made the 2010 film Psychosis, featuring Buffy the Vampire Slayer
star Charisma Carpenter and The Darkness singer Justin Hawkins, was
first arrested over the allegations in April.

Traviss, who
had apparently planned to marry Winehouse before she tragically died,
said he was 'completely and utterly flabbergasted' by the claims and there was 'no question' the attack happened.

He even told the jury: 'I sort of
came away from that evening thinking this could be really good, this
could be the start of something.

'I wasn't looking for a girlfriend, but she is somebody I have known for a long time and that there could be something in this.'

Southwark Crown
Court had earlier heard how the pair had been out drinking in three West
End bars when they headed back to his flat in the early hours.

Free: Traviss was said to be in mourning for Winehouse at the time of his encounter with the woman

Free: Traviss was said to be in mourning for Winehouse at the time of his encounter with the woman

Tributes: Traviss standing outside Winehouse's home shortly after her death last July

Tributes: Traviss standing outside Winehouse's home shortly after her death last July

The
woman claimed she was asleep in bed with Mr Traviss when she awoke to
find him having sex with her. She said he stopped when she asked him
what he was doing, but when she passed out again she woke up to him
doing it a second time.

The 27-year-old also claimed that
when she later got up to leave his home she could not find her
underwear. When she asked Traviss where they were he told her he wanted
to keep them as a memento, she claimed.

But
Traviss has always strongly maintained his innocence and told the court
the woman was completely 'compos mentis' when they had sex, and that it
was in fact her who lured him into bed.

He
said they had both been 'merry drunk' and had agreed she would stay at
his as it was just round the corner which she was 'very happy to do so.'

At
around 4.30am Traviss said he suggested they 'get their heads down' and
offered to sleep on the sofa while she slept in the bed but she told
him to 'come and sleep in the bed' and initiated sex.

He told the court: 'She had a big smile on her face. She was being very inviting about me coming and getting into bed with her.

'She was someone that I knew and trusted. If she didn't then I would just go to sleep. But pretty much straight away we started kissing and touching each other.

'She was leading it just as much as much as I was following it. It was completely equal. There was never any question she did not consent.

'There is no truth in whatsoever in the allegations. It didn't happen.'