Journalist cleared of raping woman

A TV reporter has been cleared of raping a churchgoer who was to feature on his news channel.

Ponty Tshibasu, 35, was said to have forced himself on the woman at his friend’s house. But today he was cleared of rape and attempted rape.

The journalist from Ben Television - a Tottenham-based satellite channel for Africans - had invited her to take part in a programme on ethnic minorities.

Tshibasu, of Wood Lane, Dagenham, was accused of raping the woman at a friend’s home in Seven Kings, but a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court took 10 hours to acquit the married dad following a two-week trial.

Giving evidence he said met the woman, of Asian origin, on a number 73 bus and asked her if she would take part in a TV programme.

Tshibasu said the woman took his business card and later telephoned to tell him she wanted to get involved in the piece on minorities in modern Britain.

They later met at a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Barking, Essex, with a colleague of Tshibasu from the TV channel, the court heard.

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Tshibasu said he later embarked on an affair with the woman, repeatedly meeting her at her workplace at a training centre in Barking.

He admitted taking the woman to his friend’s house in Seven Kings on May 21 this year after meeting her at a Morrisons supermarket in nearby Romford.

Tshibasu said the woman agreed to have sex with him.