Northampton

Appeal Court frees man jailed for Northampton rape

A man jailed for seven years for raping a Northampton woman had been freed after the Court of Appeal ruled his conviction was unsafe.

Krystian Rafal Kepinski, 27, of Manfield Road, Abington, was jailed at Northampton Crown Court in May 2010.

The Appeal Court found no rational explanation as to why the jury found him guilty of one rape but not guilty of another.

The alleged rapes took place within seconds of each other.

Kepinski, a Polish national, had also been convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Two trials

Kepinski, who had always denied the offences, had his rape conviction quashed by Lord Justice Rix, Mr Justice Maddison and Judge David Radford.

The appeal decision meant Kepinski could walk free from prison, as he had long since served the nine-month sentence he got for the assault offence.

The woman had accused Kepinski of attacking her with fists and feet, stabbing her in the leg with a pair of scissors and then raping her.

He claimed that the sex was consensual. The case went before two juries - the first jury could not reach a verdict.

The jury at the second trial only convicted Kepinski of one rape after lengthy deliberation.

Lawyers argued that the jury's verdicts on the two alleged rapes were "inconsistent" and there was no rational reason for them to have been so.

The evidence relating to the two allegations was almost identical and they had taken place a matter of seconds apart, the court was told.

Lord Justice Rix said the Appeal Court's fear was that the jurors had delivered their verdicts as "their solution to what must otherwise have seemed to them an un-ending process".

The prosecution did not ask for a retrial. Kepinski was not in court for his appeal.

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