Mum's fury at sleepwalker's rape acquittal

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A MOTHER has hit out after a former army recruit was cleared of raping her daughter after claiming he was sleepwalking.

James Thomas, 22, had denied committing the sex attack on the 18-year-old and lodged a special defence that he was asleep at the time and was acting "while in a parasomniac state".

Thomas, of Westburn, Middlefield, Edinburgh, was accused of assaulting her at a house in Balerno on October 3, 2009, while she was asleep and under the influence of alcohol and incapable of consent.

But a jury of eight women and seven men at the High Court in Edinburgh found the rape charge against him not proven and a judge told him he was acquitted of the offence.

Afterwards, the mother branded the outcome as "ridiculous".

The 49-year-old said: "It just gives people a licence to say I committed a crime but I was sleepwalking."