Lawrence Jones rape trial: Judge tells jury to decide on 'ultimate issue' of whether complainants' are 'truthful and reliable'
21.11.2023 - 19:11
A judge has told jurors to decide on the 'ultimate issue' of whether the complainants are 'truthful and reliable' in the trial of UK Fast founder Lawrence Jones. Mr Jones, 55, denies two offences of rape.
Prosecutors allege that the multimillionaire businessman 'stupefied' two young women with drugs and then raped them at his flat in Salford in the 1990s when he was in his 20s.
Mr Jones, of Brooks Drive in Hale Barns, denies two offences of rape and says he never met one of his accusers and says sex he had with a second woman was consensual.
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One woman, described as Woman A in press reports of the trial, alleges she was raped at a flat in Salford in 1993 after drinking a glass of red wine and taking a couple of 'tokes' of a spliff rolled by Mr Jones. The second woman, Woman B, claims she was urged to take a sniff from a medicine bottle containing a clear liquid. She alleges she instantly felt 'really really drunk' and was raped.
On the tenth day of the trial at Manchester Crown Court, Judge Sarah Johnston began her summing up of the case to the six men and six women on the jury.
“It is time for you to return to your task. It is time for you to decide which issues have arisen that you need to resolve,” she began.
“Please bear in mind that it is the Prosecution who must make you sure. You must decide the ultimate issue in the case; if the complainants told you the truth and if it is reliable.”
Judge Johnston reminded jurors of the evidence of Woman A, who described taking an ‘instant