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Fire chief cleared of rape

Cleared of rape: Sean Frayne Credit: PA

A chief fire officer from Huddersfield has been found not guilty of the rape of a woman at a pub in 2006.

A jury took just over 10 minutes to clear 48-year-old Sean Frayne who denied raping the woman, claiming to have had a consensual sexual encounter with her after she kissed him passionately.

His lawyer criticised the decision to prosecute Frayne instead of launching a blackmail inquiry after it emerged that a friend of the alleged victim wrote to him suggesting she may "avoid publicity" for a substantial out-of-court payment.

Jurors at Derby Crown Court had been told the alleged rape took place while Frayne's wife was in another room. He wiped away tears and left the court with his wife after the jury returned its unanimous verdict.

Frayne, formerly of Etwall in Derbyshire but now living in Fixby, Huddersfield, was arrested by police after a formal complaint was made in December 2013.

A five-day trial heard that Frayne, the £140,000-a-year head of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, went to talk to the alleged victim before his arrest after receiving an anonymous letter branding him a rapist.

The court heard that the letter went on to suggest the out-of-court payment. But the Crown said the woman, who cannot be named, knew nothing of her friend's attempts to "achieve some form of informal justice" on her behalf by sending the letter.

In her closing submission, defence barrister Laura Pitman said: "They (the police) have investigated one side of the story and they have not investigated the other. If this is nothing to do with money why is there even mention of an out-of-court payment?"

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Chesterfield boss Cook extends contract

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook has signed a one-year extension to his contract.

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook extends his contract Credit: Press Association

Cook, whose previous deal was due to expire in 2016, is now tied to the club until the summer of 2017, together with his assistant, Leam Richardson.

Cook joined the Spireites in October 2012 and has overseen the club's rise from League 2 as champions in 2013/14 and their stabilisation in League 1 during the current campaign.

The contract extension comes in the wake of the January transfer window, which saw the Spireites bring in five new players and sell striker Eoin Doyle to Championship side Cardiff City for a seven-figure fee.

Cook is delighted to commit his future to the club given the volatile nature of football management.

Along with the rest of the coaching staff, I was brought in to do a job and in football it's always a difficult job in an ever-changing world. I've been here now for two years and four months and I think I'm in the top 20 longest-serving managers, which is quite amazing. I'd just like to thank the chairman, Chris [Turner], the board of directors and all the supporters for all the faith they've shown in me. We feel we have a very strong unity here together as a club. Any manager will be clamouring for time, but in football today we don't get that. The club is very important to us all. Loyalty in football now is a very hard thing to come across and as a manager or a player I think you need to show that.

– Paul Cook, Chesterfield manager

Bus services in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire affected by snow

A number of Stagecoach bus services in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire have been affected by the adverse weather conditions. There are disruptions to routes in Sheffield, Chesterfield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster. Passengers are being encouraged to allow more time for their journeys and check the Stagecoach website.

Council workers to see wages rise

Low paid workers employed by Derbyshire County Council could see their wages go up.

Councillors are meeting this week to look at plans to increase pay for staff including cleaners, school crossing patrollers and catering assistants. The council said they're putting up wages to meet the cost of fuel, food and energy prices.

Matthew Cryer's family vow to fight to find on for answers

The family of a teenager who died while on holiday in Zante say they're stunned and also angry at the findings of a report into his death just released by Greek authorities.

The document, just translated for the family, details why four men accused of causing Matthew Cryer's death outside a nightclub in 2008 were cleared last month. That was despite an inquest verdict of unlawful killing here in the UK.

But they've vowed to fight on and launched an appeal they hope will be heard by a new set of judges in Greece. Martin Fisher reports.

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Man charged with attempted murder in Chesterfield

A 37-year-old man has been charged in connection with an incident on Gloucester Road in Chesterfield last week.

Dean Wilson from Spital Lane, Chesterfield is due to appear before magistrates in Chesterfield today charged with attempted murder.

He was arrested during the afternoon of 31 October after a 59-year-old man had suffered injuries when a car collided with him at about 1.30pm the same day.

The 59-year-old man remains in hospital being treated for multiple injuries.

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