AN alleged rapist was today a free man after a jury acquitted him of sex charges, but convicted him of breaking a court order.

A police officer spotted Steven James Smith at the home of a York woman despite being banned from going anywhere near her, York Crown Court heard.

The officer was responding to the woman’s personal alarm, which she pressed after Smith, 25, arrived at her house unexpectedly on October 20.

A few days earlier, a civil court judge had made an order banning him from entering the woman’s street or going on to her property after she alleged Smith had assaulted her.

He was arrested and held in custody for 246 days before his case came to trial.

A jury at York Crown Court convicted Smith of breaking the court order, but acquitted him of two charges of rape, one of attempted rape and one of assault.

He was jailed for 42 days, and because he had spent longer than that on remand, he was set free. Smith, of Woodlea Avenue, Acomb, denied all the charges.

Prosecution barrister Geraldine Kelly told the jury that after the police officer saw Smith near the woman’s home on October, the woman alleged to police he had been trying to rape her.

She also claimed he had raped her on two different occasions the previous month, as well assaulting her on a third occasion, all at her home.

The jury heard evidence the woman had made similar sex claims before the incident on October 20 to a housing officer.

Smith denied in the witness box that he had been anywhere near the woman’s house on the days she alleged he raped and assaulted her.