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Nottingham student cleared of rape

The former JCR president for Broadgate Park, John Hagan, has been cleared of raping a fresher following a four day trial at Nottingham Crown Court. The 22 year old maths student had stood accused of raping the fresher, 18, last year after he had been approached to escort the drunk girl home. He was among older students delegated to care for newcomers after agreeing to a “no-sex” pact during freshers’ week because they were seen as vulnerable. However the fresher awoke to the message “I pulled the president” along with Hagan’s mobile number scrawled upon her naked body. Just six days into her degree, the girl said she remembered Hagan pulling down her underwear before she passed out. However Hagan denied all charges, claiming the sex was consensual, allegedly telling police: “Technically, I broke the contract by 40 minutes which I felt a prat for doing.”

After returning the verdict, Judge Tony Mitchell raised concerns about the level of university drinking. He told Hagan: “You are very much aware that your conduct left you with some very considerable doubts, morally, if nothing else. This is a lesson which will take you a long time to overcome. There is a very real concern at universities about the conduct and behaviour of students.”

Following the case, a university spokesman said: “This has been a period of great distress for everyone involved. In response to the judge’s comments, we wish to emphasise that Nottingham, in common with universities throughout the country, is taking a range of measures to address the welfare of newly-arrived students.” SU President Dave Willey echoed these comments: “The binge drinking issue involves people from all around the country, not just at the University of Nottingham. As a union we are always trying to tackle that. Through Easy Tiger we try and encourage students to drink responsibly and know what they are doing to themselves by drinking too much.” So as the trust of week one reps comes under scrutiny once more, it seems that the future of Week One at Nottingham may be under threat.

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