A florist stood with his hands clasped in front of him and his head bowed as a jury found him guilty of drugging a married city worker and raping him in a west Oxfordshire cottage.

Luiz da Silva Neto, 35, of Wandsworth, who appeared in the dock wearing a blazer and light-coloured shirt, could be seen gently shaking his head as the verdicts were announced.

Jurors at Oxford Crown Court have so far spent more than 13-and-a-half hours considering their verdicts follow the two-and-a-half week trial at Oxford Crown Court.


Prosecutors say da Silva Neto was responsible for drugging and sexually assaulting two men in a cottage in Middle Barton, west Oxfordshire, in November and December last year.

The defendant, who worked for a London floristry business and helped his partner rent out the village cottage to paying guests, denies wrongdoing – saying he did not administer the ‘unknown substance’ and any sexual activity was consensual.

The 12-strong jury returned to courtroom four on Thursday afternoon, confirming their verdicts on five counts.

He was found guilty by a majority of 10 jurors to two of administering an ‘unknown substance’ with intent to stupefy the second complainant at the Oxfordshire cottage on December 10, 2021.

He was found guilty by the same figure of causing a person to engage in sexual activity and rape. Both allegations related to the second victim.

Da Silva Neto was acquitted of kidnapping the man from the Kings Road, Chelsea, and acquitted of committing the kidnap with intent to commit a sexual offence. On Wednesday, da Silva Neto was cleared of drugging the second complainant in the car. 

Jurors continue their deliberations on counts one and two, which concern the alleged drugging and sexual assault of the first complainant.

That first man was said to have been the victim of an oral sex act by da Silva Neto as he lay semi-conscious on a bed in the Middle Barton property. The pair were at the cottage in order to carry out DIY work on November 10.

Prosecutors had claimed the second man was picked up by da Silva Neto from the Kings Road. The married company director spent the night drinking with his colleagues in Chelsea on the night of December 10, including at Kings Road club Raffles, where the group had a VIP table with a £900 minimum spend. The pair drove to another flat in London and then on to Oxfordshire.

The alleged victim, who claimed to have barely any memory of the incident, woke at 10am the following morning to discover he was miles away from the capital.

The trial continues.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward