PROSECUTORS were accused of ‘presuming’ that because a married man claimed to be heterosexual he would not ‘want to experiment’ with another man.

Addressing jurors in the trial of her client, Luiz da Silva Neto, on Monday, defence barrister Merry van Woodenberg suggested the first man had gone to police alleging a sexual assault after his attempts to be paid a ‘bribe’ failed, while the second alleged victim invented his story he had been spiked as a ‘get-out clause’ after he woke up in the house of a ‘strange man’.

Da Silva Neto, 35, is accused of drugging then sexually assaulting two men in a cottage in Middle Barton, west Oxfordshire, a month apart in November and December last year. He denies any wrongdoing.

Ms van Woodenberg told the jury in her closing speech: “It would be wrong to come to the case with the presumption because somebody is married or they say they are straight that must mean he would not want to experiment.”

And she questioned whether the scientific evidence backed-up the prosecution’s claims both men were spiked by an ‘unknown substance’.

The first complainant approached police too late to provide a urine sample that could have been successfully checked for drugs. He had shaved his hair, meaning a hair sample could not be given, she said.

The second man had waited 12 hours before providing a urine sample. No GHB or GBL was found, although the substance quickly passes through the body. Checks revealed no other common ‘spiking’ drugs, the jury was told.

Ms Woodenberg reminded the 12-strong panel of toxicologist Dr Simon Elliott, whose evidence she said poured doubt on the first complainant’s account that he had woken in the night to find the defendant sexually assaulting him before losing consciousness again. It also undermined the second man’s apparent lack of memory of the events leading up to his alleged drugging, she said.

“This is a case alleging spiking. Science is key. There is no scientific evidence at all to support those offences,” she said.

Instead, the evidence pointed towards da Silva Neto’s account being the true one, Ms van Woodenberg said.

Cotswold Journal: The offences were allegedly committed in a cottage in Middle BartonThe offences were allegedly committed in a cottage in Middle Barton

The second man was said by a colleague to have come out of Chelsea club Raffles, where he and his workmates had booked a £900-minimum spend VIP table, keen to carry on partying.

Da Silva Neto’s friend, Melissa, said the married stranger was sexually suggestive towards her and ‘kept asking Luiz for a kiss’ and calling him ‘hilarious’.

And a video recording apparently made inadvertently by the defendant when they reached the Middle Barton cottage picked him up asking the second man whether he was okay. The man replied that he was, the jury was told.

Ms Woodenberg said her client freely admitted to recreational drug use and living a promiscuous lifestyle where he had sex with men who were gay and who claimed outwardly to be heterosexual.

The defendant was said to be ‘disgusted’ with himself for having secretly filmed men at urinals on the night of the second set of allegations.

“He was horny and he was high [on drugs],” the barrister told jurors.

“He admits all these things to you now. He was looking for sex, something that was pretty common for him and pretty easy to find without needing to concoct complex kidnap plans of strangers.”

She added of her client’s promiscuity: “Morally, you will cast your judgements but it is not a crime.”

Ms van Woodenberg urged the jury to be careful of taking on board the ‘lightning doesn’t strike twice’ argument, highlighting examples of the ‘prosecutor’s fallacy’ in statistics where two sets of allegations were taken as proof of each.

Da Silva Neto, of Riverlight Quay, Wandsworth, denies administering a substance with intent and engaging in penetrative sexual activity without consent with two men. He is accused of the rape and kidnap of the second man against whom the defendant is accused of committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence.

The trial continues.