An Ashington father-of-three has spoken of his relief after being found not guilty of rape, admitting: ‘I have endured a nightmare’.
Last week, at Newcastle Crown Court, a jury acquitted Munawar Hussain, 41, of two counts of rape and one count of assault by penetration.
Mr Hussain was charged last summer after reports of an alleged incident in the North Seaton area.
But his week-long trial only lasted three days and he was cleared of all charges.
For Mr Hussain the outcome is bitter-sweet; he is delighted to have been found not guilty, but admits that he will have to live with the stigma attached to the case for the rest of his life.
He told the News Post Leader: “It is a huge sense of relief because it has been a nightmare for me. It really has ruined my life.
“I have had to endure a lot of taunts and comments, I lost my job because of this and I have felt so much pressure just thinking about this case. I need to rebuild my life.
“But even though I have been acquitted of it, there is a stigma and people still look at you in a certain way. The case might be over, but it is not over for me and I will have to deal with this for the rest of my life.”
On the back of his experience, he believes that people accused of sexual offences should be given anonymity, until found guilty.
He said: “It was all lies, but my name was all over the media. I have lived in the area for a long time and people know us and I definitely feel that people shouldn’t be named in cases like this until they’re found guilty.”
Mr Hussain, who has three young children, thanked his wife for her support throughout his ordeal. He also thanked everyone who has stuck by him and supported him over the last year.