Dorset

Poole speedway's Darcy Ward cleared of sexual assault

Darcy Ward
Image caption A jury found Darcy Ward not guilty of sexual assaulting a teenage girl

A champion speedway rider has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Poole Pirates' Darcy Ward, 20, was cleared at Bournemouth Crown Court of assaulting the 17-year-old girl at a Premier Inn in Poole, Dorset.

The girl and a friend were visiting the town to see the speedway in August.

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also cleared of rape and three counts of sexual assault.

The prosecution alleged that Mr Ward and the 17-year-old boy had sexually assaulted the teenager together in a hotel room.

And they claimed that a video filmed on the boy's mobile phone showed Mr Ward assaulting her.

However defence barrister Stewart Jones QC said the footage showed no struggling or protestation from the girl.

He said she had drunkenly consented to a liaison with Mr Ward and his friend and she had made up the allegations later in order to explain her behaviour.

Mr Darcy, from Australia, lives in Sturminster Marshall, Dorset, and won the Speedway World Under 21 Championship in 2009 and 2010.

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