Two Kent men cleared of raping teenage girl in Essex

Two men from Kent convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party in Essex have been cleared after a retrial at the Old Bailey.

Ahad Ali, 28, and Khaled Ullah, 28, both from Ashford, were convicted last year of the attack in Benfleet, in November 2009.

Both denied rape, saying the sex was consensual. It resulted in the Court of Appeal ordering the retrial.

The Old Bailey jury has now found the men not guilty after the second trial.

Following the latest verdicts, Judge Timothy Pontius told the jury it had been a "date-rape" allegation where a "very high standard of truth" was needed.

At Maidstone Crown Court last year, Mr Ullah had been jailed indefinitely and Mr Ali was given an eight-year jail term.

The girl had claimed she had been dragged into a flat by Ullah, before being raped by both men.

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