A MAN who served more than two years of a 15-year prison sentence for a series of rapes has been acquitted of all charges at a retrial.

Mehmet Aytas was jailed at Bournemouth Crown Court in 2017 after being convicted of seven rapes, alleged to have been committed over a four-year period.

His lawyers have since applied for a re-trial and when he appeared at Bristol Crown Court the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence.

A Certificate of Acquittal has since been issued by HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

In August 2017, Aytas, who was 34-years-old and lived in Alder Road in Poole, was slated by a judge who said Aytas believed he was superior to women and had viewed women as his personal property.

Judge Peter Johnson told him: “You had no understanding or acceptance of your behaviour until this morning.”

The court had been told that Aytas raped a woman more than 20 times and his alleged victim told how she had been left “terrified” by her ordeal.

She said: “I feel I will always be looking over my shoulder and always be scared of him. What he has done is abhorrent and no one should have to go through this She said she also believed it is “inevitable” that Mr Aytas would commit another rape, the court heard.

The court heard Aytas had moved to Bournemouth about 10 years earlier from Turkey, where he had studied for a degree in tourism and hotel management.

He is a former Bournemouth hotel worker.

Speaking after the acquittal, Mr Aytas’ solicitor, Paul Legg, said: “Mr Aytas is delighted and relieved that the court has fully acquitted him of all charges.

“He has consistently maintained his innocence from the outset and did not give up hope at any stage throughout his time in prison that the correct verdict would eventually be reached.”