Northern Ireland

Man who 'said sorry' to woman on Facebook cleared of rape

A man who used Facebook to apologise to a woman he had sex with has been acquitted of raping her.

Stephen Doherty, 28, from Bush Manor, Antrim, was found not guilty on Tuesday of raping the woman in the early hours of 26 February 2011.

She claimed she had woken up to find him having sex with her but Mr Doherty always claimed to police and in court that it had been consensual.

The court was told he had later sent her an apology on Facebook.

During the week-long hearing at Belfast Crown Court the jury heard how the pair had been out with friends when they met at a city centre nightclub and then went back to the 28-year-old woman's house.

She claimed she had gone to bed but was awoken some time later to find Doherty on top of her having sex with her.

The jury heard that within hours of the incident, Doherty had sent her a personal message on the social networking site Facebook saying "so sorry for being a d***".