Former Bedford councillor cleared of rape charges

Picture � South Beds News Agency
Picture � South Beds News Agency

A former Bedford Borough councillor broke down in tears in the dock today when a jury cleared him of sex charges against a disabled woman.

Paul Prescod, from Wootton, was found not guilty at Luton Crown Court of two charges of rape, four of sexual assault and two of assault by penetration.

He had told the court: “It’s a load of nonsence, I can’t believe this is happening to me.”

He said the allegations had changed his life, he had been suspended from Bedford Borough Council and was on medication for sleep and stress problems.

In the witness box he said he and the women indulged in some consensual sexual activity on two days when they had been drinking, but then he called a halt to it and nothing else happened between them, although they remained friends until the day of his arrest.

Mr Prescod, 51, of Cynthia Court, Wootton, said that he had helped her as a councillor and they became ‘mates’, watching the Jeremy Kyle show together and occasionally drinking alcohol.

He said they borrowed money off each other but paid it back, although sometimes he was a little slow.

He claimed they cuddled and kissed and touched each other, but stopped when there was a knock at the door.

The following day he said the same thing happened.

“It was definitely consensual, but then I said to her I liked her as a mate but I didn’t want it to go any further,” he said. “She was alright about it.”

Asked about an allegation that he raped her on Boxing Day 2013, he said it was impossible as he was at a friend’s house that day.

When he was arrested he was in shock, but he answered all questions in his interview without a solicitor.

“I knew I had not done anything,” he added.

After the verdicts, Judge Richard Foster made a Restraining Order banning the former Liberal Democrat Councillor from contacting the woman directly or indirectly.