Jury fails to reach verdict in Leeds 'couchsurf' rape trial

A JURY has been discharged after failing to reach a verdict in the trial of a man accused of raping a woman he met on a website.

Abdelali Nachet will remain in custody after the jury spent five-and-a-half hours deliberating but could not agree on a verdict.

Moroccan-born Nachet, 34, is accused of raping a woman from Hong Kong who spent a night at his flat in Moortown, Leeds. He denies the charge.

The pair had met on www.couchsurfing.com, which puts travellers in touch with people offering free accommodation.

In her evidence, the woman said she had been raped twice during a prolonged ordeal which lasted throughout her stay in March. She also said Nachet had threatened to kill her and then kill himself if she tried to escape from his flat on Cranmer Bank.

But in his defence, dad-of-one Nachet, a part-time chef, said the 27-year-old had "wanted lots of sex" and "loved it".

Judge Kerry Macgill discharged the jury yesterday and Nachet may now face a re-trial. The case will appear at Leeds Crown Court again on August 28.

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