A UNIVERSITY student who went on trial accused of raping a woman as she slept has been cleared by a jury.

Niall McPaul had always denied the single count of rape alleged to have taken place in April 2017 in Oxford.

Prosecutors during his trial at Oxford Crown Court claimed that the the 27-year-old of Headley Way, Oxford, raped a woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons - while she was asleep in a bed.

It was alleged that as the woman began to realise what was happening she 'panicked' and asked Mr McPaul 'are we having sex?'

READ AGAIN: The jury goes out in trial.

Prosecutors claimed that he responded by saying he thought she was 'into it' and then stopped what he was doing before leaving.

Jurors were told that she had made her position clear the night before and said to him 'I don't want to have sex with you'.

Despite the claims and after seven hours and 27 minutes of deliberations jurors found Mr McPaul not guilty of rape.

As the verdict was returned today supporters in the public gallery loudly burst into tears as Mr McPaul left the dock to join them.

Presiding Judge Maria Lamb then thanked the jury for their 'careful consideration' in trying the case.