Jury discharged in Brighton police community support officer’s rape trial

Posted On 20 Jun 2022 at 1:15 pm

A Brighton and Hove police community support officer faces a retrial on charges of rape and sexual assault after a jury at Lewes Crown Court was unable to reach a verdict.

Jamal Robinson outside Lewes Crown Court

The hung jury was discharged early this afternoon (Monday 20 June) by Judge Christine Laing, the honorary recorder of Brighton and Hove.

Jamal Robinson, 29, known as Bertie to his family and friends, is expected to face a retrial in September before a new jury.

Robinson was charged after a Christmas night out in Brighton with his friend and fellow police community support officer (PCSO) Larry Oduol in December 2019.

He went on trial last Monday (13 June) at Lewes when Edward Hand, prosecuting, told the jury that Robinson raped and sexually assaulted the girl as she pretended to sleep. He denied both charges.

Robinson, of Ventnor Villas, Hove, had taken the girl, who was 19, back to his parents’ home in Brighton Road, Worthing.

The two PCSOs had been drinking before going to a police Christmas party at the Queen’s Hotel on Brighton seafront on Friday 13 December 2019.

They met the complainant, whose name cannot be reported for legal reasons, with one of her friends in Revolution, a bar in West Street, Brighton.

They went clubbing in Shooshh, on Brighton seafront, and on to Buddies diner, now known as Monarch, also in King’s Road.

Mr Hand said that, once back at the flat, Robinson and the complainant, who is now 21, had consensual sex.

Mr Hand said that the complainant told police that she had only reluctantly consented to having sex, adding: “In law, reluctant consent is still consent.

“She told police that, after she visited the bathroom, she had told the defendant she did not want sex and pretended to be asleep.”

But, Mr Hand told the jury at Lewes Crown Court, the defendant continued to have sex with her against her will.

Jamal Robinson

Siobhan Grey, defending said that both the defendant and the complainant had been in relationships with other people at the time.

They had been getting on well until something changed after they had had sex, she said.

The complainant had spotted women’s “sanitary products” in the bathroom, the jury was told, and then, in a video interview, she said: “He was like basically telling me that he might have a girlfriend.”

Miss Grey told the jury that the complainant had made allegations against two men previously, in her early teens, but the police took no further action at that time.

She said: “Don’t let this defendant be the fall guy for that case. You can’t rely on her account.

“They’d had sex. They’d made plans to go out the next day. Then he let her down.”

The jury of six men and five women went out at lunchtime on Friday but, after they said that they were unable to reach a verdict, the judge discharged them.

Robinson, who has resigned from Sussex Police, is scheduled to face a retrial starting on Monday 12 September.

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