A man has been cleared of raping a woman he met at the gym.

Danyle Smith, 28, was accused of forcing himself upon the woman in an Oxford city centre alleyway in January 2019.

She claimed to have repeatedly told Smith, who had been released from prison around a month earlier, that she did not want to have sex with him and attempted to push him away.


The defendant – sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in 2013 for aggravated burglary – denied that he had raped her.

He said that WhatsApp messages he’d sent later that evening which appeared to acknowledge she had told him ‘no’ related to her telling him to halt his sexual advances when a car pulled up in the side street they’d walked down.

In other WhatsApp messages exchanged by the pair following the alleged assault on January 30, the woman accused Smith of raping her. “I said no so many times. You should have listened. I just gave in,” she said.

Smith left the woman a series of voice messages, including one in which he said: “I’m begging you. Please just keep it between us. I will definitely be going back to jail straightaway.”

Giving evidence in his own defence, Smith told the jury: “In my opinion there’s nothing worse than a rapist – other than a child molester, there’s nothing worse than that.

“I genuinely believed I had consent from her.”


Jurors at Oxford Crown Court were out deliberating for a day-and-a-half before returning to deliver their not guilty verdict shortly before lunch on Friday.


In his closing speech, Kuljeet Dobe, for Smith, told the jury it was possible for them to find that the complainant had not consented to sex – but still find that his client had a reasonable belief that she was consenting. He acknowledged that it was an unattractive submission to make.

He suggested his client may have ‘misread’ the signs, having just served a long prison sentence for aggravated burglary. “He is a man who’s spent a lot of time away from normal life. He’s out of practice from normal life, he’s out of sync and it’s his case he misread the messages.”

Closing the case for the prosecution, Jonathan Stone dismissed Smith’s explanation as ‘spin, spin, spin’.

He said one of the most telling messages from Smith to his victim was his claim he was ‘just feeling horny’ and he ‘honestly felt like [she] was just saying that [no]’.

Mr Stone said: “We suggest that’s all about ‘me’. It’s all about me and to hell with you. To hell with your feelings, your wants, your needs and your wishes.”

Previous conviction

Smith, of no fixed address, was given eight-and-a-half years in 2013 for aggravated burglary. Together with another man he raided a house in Milton Keynes armed with a knife and handgun. They made off with mobile phones and games consoles.

The defendant was cleared of a separate count of sexual assault at a trial in December 2020, although jurors were unable to reach a verdict on the rape allegation.

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