A CHESTER chef on trail for allegedly attempting to rape a student as she slept after following her home from a night out has walked free from court.
Friends of the young victim wept in court on Thursday (April 14) as members of the jury returned a not guilty verdict and Sikouna Drame was led from the dock.
After a four day trial at Chester Crown Court, it took just 20 minutes for the jury to clear Drame, a chef at Carluccino's in Chester, of the two charges of attempted rape and theft.
Giving evidence at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday (April 13), the accused admitted he had lied and exaggerated to get away from the police.
The court heard how, at 1.41am on September 22, Drame, 27, had alledgely followed an intoxicated female student from a city centre nightclub.
After allegedly pursuing her, it is alleged Drame got into a taxi with the student outside Al Fresco's takeaway and went into her house with the girl. It is alleged she then forced Drame to leave and only later discovered her handbag, keys, purse, laptop and credit cards had gone missing.
The prosecution said Drame then waited outside for the girl to fall asleep before using her stolen key to re-enter the house and attempting to rape her while she was sleeping in bed.
The victim is thought to have become separated from her friends during a girls night out at city centre nightclub Cruise, before walking through the streets alone while her housemates returned home.
Drame, who denied attempted rape and theft, was arrested in his room at Travelodge in Chester where police recovered the victim’s stolen property, which he claims he had been trying to return to her.
Speaking in court, Drame, a French national who moved to Chester from Salford in September 2010, admitted engaging in sexual activities with the girl.
He said: "I was confused and I told the police many things. Why would I try to rape her? What sort of monster would do that?"
Owen Edwards, defending, told the jury Drame was a man of previous good character and claimed the victim had lured him back to her house with the promise of a party before stealing £120 from his pocket.
He then took her laptop as a replacement for the money, and forgetting he had her keys, purse, and cards made his way back to the Travelodge.
Drame admitted to lying to the police during both of the interviews, and during cross-examination admitted that they had sexual contact, which she had initiated.
For full story see Monday's Chester Xtra.