Jury clears Forest councillor Ian Whitburn

Monday 18th July 2022 6:00 am
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Forest councillor Ian Whitburn ()

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A FOREST of Dean district councillor has been cleared of four charges, including three alleged rapes of a woman, by a jury at Gloucester Crown Court.

Ian Whitburn, 59, of Newland Street in Coleford was also found not guilty of a charge of using coerceive and controlling behaviour.

The jury were unable to reach verdicts on five other charges of rape against Ian Whitburn, 59, of Newland Street, Coleford.

He denied all eight charges of rape, dated between October 23, 2015 and March 17, 2017 and the single charge of coercive and controlling behaviour between December 29, 2015 and March 19, 2017.

The jury was discharged by the trial judge after spending 10 hours and 52 minutes in deliberation.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC gave the Crown Prosecution Service 14 days to decide if it wants a retrial on the unresolved five rape charges.

At the opening of the trial, Peter Binder, defending, said the woman alleged Mr Whitburn owed her a debt but received very little in recompense.

He said Mr Whitburn stated the charges before the Crown Court were “the ultimate revenge of a woman scorned.”

Mr Whitburn was first elected as an independent councillor on the Forest of Dean District Council in 2011 and represented the Mitcheldean and Drybook ward.

He currently represents the Coleford ward, also as an independent councillor.

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