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Not guilty: Westbourne man cleared of raping woman he met online as sister awaits sentencing

11:01 17 February 2017

Colin Leacock          Picture: CENTRAL NEWS

Colin Leacock Picture: CENTRAL NEWS

Archant

A man charged with raping a woman he met on a dating site after his domineering sister turned her into an “unpaid skivvy” has been cleared.

Colin Leacock, 34, of Gaydon House in Westbourne was found not guilty of two counts of rape and two of assault at Southwark Crown Court yesterday following a three-day trial.

His sister Mandy has already pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm, including pulling the woman’s hair out, pouring bleach on her and ordering her to cook and clean like an “unpaid skivvy”.

She will be sentenced later today.

The court heard Mr Leacock met the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on Match.com in March 2015.

She quickly moved in with Mr Leacock, but the relationship ultimately broke down after 36-year-old Mandy, of Goldney Road in Maida Vale, moved in with the couple and began abusing the woman, 37.

The complainant – who has a personality disorder and suffers from anxiety and depression – overdosed in March and April of 2015, in part because of Mandy’s controlling nature.

Mr Leacock, who has learning difficulties and an estimated IQ of 55, had previously told the court he was “very upset and very depressed” and felt he was “getting pushed out” after his sister interfered in the relationship.

The ordeal lasted until March 2016.

A spokesman for Match.com said the company was “appalled” by Mandy’s actions and welcomed her conviction.

He added: ”Sadly, there is a tiny minority of people who set out to harm others. While this is not confined to dating sites or even the internet, those who do so should be convicted. Our members’ safety is our highest priority.

“We continually review our policies and fully support the initiatives that the Online Dating Association and Suzy Lamplugh Trust are taking on the issue.”

The jury of eight women and four men took under two and a half hours to clear Mr Leacock.

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