Jeweller found not guilty of 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' attack on partner after jury hears she signed a 'sex slave contract'
Steven Lock, 43, said he and a woman partner had both read the book
Told jury that they had been planning 'master and slave' session for months
Outside court, Mr Lock, said he was relieved that the jury 'had seen sense'Jury told woman had 'Property of Steven Lock' tattooed on her bodyShe travelled from Norfolk to Suffolk to take part in the sex session

Andrew Levy


11:13 GMT, 22 January 2013



23:58 GMT, 22 January 2013

Trial: Steven Lock at Ipswich Crown court who was inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey

Trial: Steven Lock at Ipswich Crown court who was inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey

A jeweller who whipped his lover with a length of rope during a Fifty Shades Of Grey-inspired sex session was cleared of assault causing actual bodily harm yesterday.

Steven Lock, 43, and his girlfriend planned a ‘master and slave’ role-play fantasy after reading the best-selling novel.

But the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, complained he went too far after she was left screaming with pain and with angry red weals on her skin.

Police began an investigation, despite the fact she had written to him promising to be his ‘slave’ and accepting ‘pain’ would be inflicted upon her.

A jury took two hours to find him not guilty after a four-day trial.

Judge David Goodin had told them they should not act as ‘moral guardians or commentators’.

He added: ‘You may not be familiar with the best-selling work of fiction which has spawned both sequels and imitations.

'What you are concerned with is whether or not the prosecution has proved whether the defendant committed a criminal offence.’

Mr Lock, of Ipswich, said later: ‘I am disgusted that this case was brought to court in the first place. I didn’t do anything wrong.’

The couple had indulged in an ‘adventurous’ sex life for a year after meeting on a dating website, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

They took part in threesomes and bondage sessions and filmed themselves having sex.

The woman, a divorced mother in her forties from Norfolk, sent Mr Lock a letter on August 5 last year, the day before taking part in the fantasy which led to her complaint.

Echoing the contract college graduate Anastasia Steele is asked to sign by businessman Christian Grey in the EL James novel, she wrote: ‘I wish to allow Steven Lock to use me and my body as a slave.

'I am willing to do anything my master sees fit for me to do. This may include pain if my tasks are not completed to his satisfaction.’

She also had a tattoo in an intimate place which said: ‘This is the property of Steven Lock.’ But the sexual encounter swiftly went wrong, the prosecution said.

Mr Lock put a rope around the woman’s neck, the jury heard, and padlocked her wrist to a chain attached to an eyelet on the floor of his bedroom.

Journey: The woman travelled from her home in Norfolk to Lock's home Suffolk, pictured left, to engage in the activities written out in the 'sex slave contract'

Journey: The woman travelled from her home in Norfolk to Lock's home Suffolk, pictured left, to engage in the activities written out in the 'sex slave contract'

She was then ordered to bend over the bed and thrashed 14 times with the looped rope so hard that it ‘whistled’ through the air.

‘I didn’t realise he was going to use
his full force and whack me with it,’ she told the court. ‘I said, “Why
are you doing this to me” His reaction was, “Tough s***”.’

Mr Lock then had sex with her and left her manacled while he went to use his computer.

Police were called when the woman
texted a friend for help, saying she was ‘chained up like a dog’.
Officers found her in a ‘distressed’ state outside Mr Lock’s home. The
court heard he had released her when she refused to share his bed.

Duncan O’Connell, prosecuting, said
the woman had anticipated some ‘playful spanking or to be hit lightly.
What she found was a real-life sadist’.

Claims: A gardener beat a woman during a 'master and slave' sex session after they were inspired by the novel Fifty Shades of Grey, a court heard

CMYKK6 Ipswich Crown Court, Suffolk, England.

Hearing: The jury at Ipswich Crown Court, right, heard the woman had incredibly signed a 'sex slave' contract – like the protagonist in 50 Shades Of Grey, left, Anastasia Steele

Asked by his barrister, Roger Thomson,
if he had read Fifty Shades Of Grey, Mr Lock – who has three previous
convictions for assaulting women – replied: ‘That’s where we got the
idea from.’

Mr Lock told the jury his lover failed to use a codeword they had agreed upon if either of them wanted to stop.

He denied tightening a rope around her
neck but admitted that he ‘pushed the boundaries’ during the encounter.
‘It was supposed to be kinky fun. I didn’t want her to cry,’ he said.

Mr Thomson said: ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey
is not a manual, it’s a work of fiction. And this is a case which
demonstrates that things can go wrong.’

Mr Lock’s former lover was not at court yesterday and was unavailable for comment.

Fifty Shades Of Grey and the two other books in the trilogy have sold 65million copies around the world since 2011.