Berkshire

Philip Askew rape trial: Ex-ice dancer found not guilty

Philip Askew
Image caption Philip Askew, pictured in 1991, denied the charge of rape

A former champion ice dancer has been found not guilty of raping a girl aged under 16.

Philip Askew, 44, denied assaulting the girl in his room at the YMCA in Slough in 1995 when he was 21 years old.

At the time, Mr Askew was a star skater and coached young people at Bracknell ice rink.

As the verdict was read out, family members screamed and sobbed with apparent relief in the public gallery at Reading Crown Court.

During the trial, Mr Askew described how the girl's father had confronted him at the time in 1995 about the two of them sleeping together.

He said: "I just reassured him that hadn't happened and that she must have had a crush on me. He seemed to accept it."

'Bit embarrassed'

Mr Askew said the word "rape" had never been used.

The ex-ice dancer, once tipped to become the next Torvill and Dean with his dance partner Marika Humphries, described his shock at the allegation from the girl's father in 1995.

"I was a young man of 21. I was a bit embarrassed to be honest.

"I knew inside I hadn't done anything wrong and I assured him of that," he said.

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