A ROLLS-ROYCE union rep accused of climbing into bed with a drunken married woman at a hotel conference and fondling her has been cleared of sexually assaulting her.

Toolmaker Jon Brough, 46, who the court was told had consumed ten pints during the evening, told police the woman had been flirting with him and sitting on his lap before they retired to her room at midnight.

The woman, 46, who for legal reasons cannot be identified, had no recollection of the evening and the prosecution brought the case on the basis she was too drunk to consent.

Brough, of Winterley Drive, Huncoat, who works at the company’s Barnoldswick site, was found not guilty by an Inner London Crown Court jury of sexual assault at Surrey’s Esher Place Hotel on October 4, 2016.

Much of the prosecution’s case was based on Brough’s own police interview in which he gave a full account of retiring to the woman’s room, where he said that consensual sexual activity took place.

He gave the same account to the jury and to a witness who also saw them with their arms around each other in the hotel’s reception area earlier in the evening.

Brough had been at the hotel event as a representative of the Unite union.

Prosecutor Catherine Patterson had told the trial: “She consumed a considerable quantity of alcohol.

"She was so intoxicated she did not have the ability to consent to any sexual activity.

“Mr Brough could see she was in a state of intoxication and decided to take advantage.”

After returning home the complainant reported him to the police two weeks later.

Brough told the officers: “There was sexual activity. Mutual kissing and passionate touching.”

Ms Patterson added: “He also told police he had tried to pull her trousers down, but she would not allow it and in the morning seemed angry with herself.”

Another witness described the complainant as having ‘slurred speech’, ‘staggering about’ and ‘looking very drunk’.

Another saw her chatting with Brough in a corridor.

“He says she appeared to be leaning on him and another witness says they were in reception with their arms around each other,” said Ms Patterson.

In a police video interview played to the jury the woman said she recalled drinking three pints of cider, a glass of wine and a vodka and coke that night.

“I got very drunk, very quickly,” she told the trial.

“I remember waking up and I was still in clothes.

"My jeans were unzipped and my bra unclipped."

“I don’t know how he got there. I was shocked to see him there.’

“I don’t know what happened, I panicked, I was stressed and felt really ashamed of myself. I’m married.”

The jury took less than three hours to find him not guilty.

The defendant was visibly relieved at the verdict and his brother, who has been staying in a caravan with him on the outskirts of London during the trial, expressed his relief from the public gallery.