The jury in a north-east rape trial has been urged to put emotions such as sympathy to one side.
Taylor Smith, 20, is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen facing a total of five charges, including raping two women at addresses in northern Aberdeenshire between October 2017 and July 2018.
He is also accused of sexually assaulting both the women on separate occasions and attempting to rape a third woman.
Smith denies the charges.
And as the trial neared its conclusion yesterday, the jury of six women and nine men heard closing statements from both prosecution and defence and Judge Buchanan began his speech giving them their legal direction.
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He told jurors: “You must not be influenced by emotions such as sympathy for the complainers, the accused or their families.”
He added that if the jury had a “reasonable doubt” over the guilt of the accused they should acquit him.
He said: “It’s the sort of doubt that would make you pause or hesitate before making an important decision in the practical conduct of your own lives.”
Judge Buchanan was this morning expected to finish his speech before the jury retired to consider their verdict.
The trial continues.