Parrie Jacob has now been found not guilty of rape (Picture: SWNS)
A man who was jailed for rape in 2022 has had his conviction overturned after a retrial where his mum found a key witness to back up his evidence.
Parrie Jacob, now 26, was found guilty of raping a woman at Ashford Beer Festival in Mearsham, Kent, in July 2019.
He has always denied any wrongdoing – and he has now been freed after a jury found him not guilty at a retrial at Canterbury crown court on Friday.
Mr Jacob, from Hythe in Kent, dropped to his knees and cried when the not guilty verdict was delivered.
Mr Jacob admitted some sexual contact with the woman, but he insisted she had followed him into a portable toilet at the festival.
She claimed he had pushed her into the cubicle and forced himself on her – but Mr Jacob’s mum, Suzanne, tracked down a security guard at the festival who told the jury he had seen the woman follow Mr Jacob into the toilet.
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The security guard, Byron Parara, was not interviewed by Kent Police and he hadn’t been spoken to at the scene of the alleged rape.
But after Suzanne tracked Mr Parara down and his evidence corroborated Mr Jacob’s claims, the jury in the retrial took seven hours to deliver a not guilty verdict.
Mr Jacob had spent 18 months in prison before the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction last April and ordered a retrial.
He was 21 when he was arrested on suspicion of raping the woman at the beer festival.
She claimed Mr Jacob forced her into a portable toilet before pulling down her underwear and raping her from behind.
Mr Jacob, who had drunk eight pints of cider at the festival, said the woman had unexpectedly followed him into the toilet before performing a sex act on him and straddling him.
After a few minutes he told the woman to stop as it was ‘not right’. He later described the sex to a friend as ‘not proper’, but in court Mr Jacob said he had meant it was because it was taking place in a toilet.
He told jurors: ‘I was there to have a good time, to enjoy the festival.
‘I just went there to have a good time with friends, have a dance together and enjoy the music.’
Police attempted to speak with two security guards involved in the incident, but were unsuccessful in respect of one – Mr Parara – whilst the other refused to give a statement.
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Mr Parara then gave two statements for Mr Jacob’s retrial, telling the jury he had seen a woman follow a man into a portable toilet, and that the man had gestured for her not to follow him.
Mr Parara said he had waited until the pair re-emerged – the man having come out first – to speak to them, before seeing the pair walk back to the dance marquee.
He told jurors the next time he saw Mr Jacob was when he was being chased and punched by several others, and had been forced to step in and protect him.
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