Ilkeston rapist John Raymond loses bid to clear his name

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A rapist who attacked a young woman in an Ilkeston alleyway as she walked home from a pub has failed in a bid to clear his name.

John Raymond followed the victim and raped her twice, before going on the run for more than two years until he was finally caught.

Whilst we do not resile from saying the judge could have pointed more specifically to certain parts of the evidence, to say the verdicts are rendered unsafe because he failed to do so is to go too far

Sir Brian Leveson

The 62-year-old was handed a 12-year extended sentence - which he has now served - at Derby Crown Court in November 2007, after being found guilty of two counts of rape.

He challenged his convictions at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers arguing they were ‘unsafe’ because the trial judge misdirected the jury.

They said the judge failed to remind jurors about Raymond’s defence - including his claim he could not have raped her because he was too drunk to have sex.

But his complaints were thrown out by three of the country’s top judges, who said the summary of the case given by the judge was ‘fair’ and the convictions ‘safe’.

Raymond raped his 24-year-old victim in January 2005, cornering her in an alleyway off East Street and forcing himself on her.

The victim ran to a nearby pub and told a member of staff what happened, and police were called.

CCTV footage showed her attacker following her into the alleyway, before reappearing several minutes later as he fled the scene.

Raymond, who lived on Albert Street, Ilkeston, at the time, was interviewed by officers after handing himself in at a station.

But he then disappeared for two years, until he was spotted in Derby and arrested in April 2007.

He denied any wrongdoing and claimed he was so drunk at the time of the incident he would not have been able to commit the offences.

However, he did not give any evidence during his trial and he was found guilty by the jury.

His lawyers argued the judge should have repeated what Raymond said to police during his interviews when he summarised the case to jurors.

But, dismissing the appeal, Sir Brian Leveson said the jury had all that information and the judge did not have to read out everything they had already heard during the trial.

Sitting with Mr Justice Edis and Sir Brian Keith, he added: “Whilst we do not resile from saying the judge could have pointed more specifically to certain parts of the evidence, to say the verdicts are rendered unsafe because he failed to do so is to go too far.

“In our judgment, these convictions are entirely safe.”