Don't miss a story sign up to Midweek Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Rape accused found not guilty

16:11 13 December 2012

Robson House.

Robson House.

Archant

Men walk free from court after four-day trial.

Squatters accused of breaking into a Honiton hostel and raping two runaway 15-year-olds have been found not guilty of all charges.

Phillip Northmore and Ibrahim Jabri broke into the boarded up building which was being renovated and had allegedly used it as a base for a ‘dirty weekend’ with two 15-year-old runaways.

They took the two girls on a series of shoplifting trips around Honiton in which they stole vodka, lager, and alcopops.

They went back and had a party at the hostel in which they squirted tomato ketchup around the building and used it to write the words ‘Ha Ha’ on furniture, doing £3,000 damage.

They did not realise the CCTV system had been left on at the almost-completed hostel for care leavers, where one of them had lived before its closure.

They were filmed as they ran naked and half naked down the corridor and the girls staggered around drunkenly, bouncing off the walls of the Robson House building.

The two men were both cleared of rape at Exeter Crown Court after a four-day trial in which the two girls gave accounts of their ordeal which did not accord with the security camera evidence or what they told police and social workers at the time.

The men were cleared of burglary because they were squatters and there was no evidence they intended to steal or cause damage at the time they broke in.

Jabri, 20, formerly of Sidmouth, denied two rapes. Northmore, 29, of Wellington Road, Exeter, denied rape and sexual assault. They both denied burglary. They were cleared of all charges and released.

They have both been in custody for almost eight months awaiting trial, the equivalent of a 15 month sentence.

A third member of the group, Ashley Brennan, 20, of Pennsylvania Road, Exeter, and formerly of Lee Close, Honiton, has admitted having under age sex with one of the two girls and will be sentenced later.

The jury heard how Brennan and Jabri were former residents at Robson House who were homeless and living rough with Northmore in April this year.

They were filmed using a stick to break into the hostel where they were joined by the two girls, one of whom was Brennan’s girlfriend.

They had run away from social workers during a trip to a funfair and joined the three men.

The prosecution had alleged the hostel was being used as a honeypot for a dirty weekend and that one girl was raped by Jabri and the other forced to take part in two sex acts by Northmore after Brennan had been arrested for shoplifting.

One of the two girls was found hysterical and sobbing in Honiton High Street after running away from the house and texting her social worker with the word ‘help’.

Northmore, who was caught on camera coming naked out of a room where he had been with one of the girls, denied any sexual activity with her.

Jabri said the other girl had consented to sex.

Both men admitted they had gone on shoplifting trips to the Co-op, Budgens and Iceland over the two days, and had stolen alcohol.

They denied plying the girls with it or deliberately getting them drunk.

One of them said they were reluctant to share the loot, adding: “We had to work hard for that stuff, shoplifting it.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:41
Mary Fenner (right) with Carol Gilson.

Mary Fenner, 72, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was given the new machine by Carol Gilson, founder of the Joe Gilson Mobility Scheme.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:10
Damion Norcombe riding for Asthma UK

Damion plans a 100mile cycle marathon to raise money for fellow asthma sufferers

Read more
Wed, 17:08
Sergeant Mat Helm is excited to get started.

Mat Helm started his new job last week, and said he was ‘excited’ to get stuck in.

Read more
Wed, 14:53
Battle of the Somme

Special ceremony at the War Memorial to mark centenary of the battle which cost so many lives

Read more
Wed, 12:35

Lucy Deacon passed away at Abbyfield Hill House, in Dunkeswell Road, Combe Raleigh on January 9

Read more
Wed, 11:30
Chamber of Comerce members at Axminster Heritage Centre

Chairman Shane Morgan was delighted to greet the Honiton traders’ group president Colin Wright and chairman Tony McCollum.

Read more
Wed, 11:15
The new defibrillator at Beer. Ref shb 26-16AW 1132. Picture: Alex Walton

The legacy of a young woman will live on in her favourite seaside town after her family donated life saving equipment.

Read more
Wed, 07:45
Fly tipping at the Lamberts Castle beauty spot near Axminster

East Devon Council gets tough to protect the ‘wonderful coastline and countryside’

Read more
Tue, 17:30
Joan Davies -  the only survivor of the original Trustees when the ACS was formed 30 years ago

Members of Axminster Care Service (ACS) will be in party mood when they celebrate their 30th birthday at their annual meeting in The Guildhall on Thursday, June 30, at 7.30pm.

Read more
Tue, 14:58
Winning RNLI  stall organisers (l to r) Brian Cursley, Gerry Hampton and Peter Hampton.

Lifeboat team wins the Axe Vale Skip Award for Best Presented Charity Stand

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications