A MAN accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman after picking her up outside a Southampton nightclub has been cleared of the charges against him.

Elvis Williams allegedly posed as a taxi driver outside 90 Degrees, in Bedford Place, before touching his intoxicated victim in his car in the early hours of July 30.

However, after nearly six hours, a jury found him not guilty of kidnap and sexual assault.

Mr Williams, 58, of Mosaic Close, Southampton, wept as the jury revealed its verdict at Southampton Crown Court.

His supporters cheered before Mr Williams left the dock telling the judge: “Thanks boss”.

During the seven-day trial, the court heard that Mr Williams allegedly left the woman on the side of a motorway slip road after she screamed at him to let her out, prosecutor Richard Martin told the court.

However, during the victim’s cross examination, Berenice Mulvanny, representing Mr Williams, told the court that she was aware before she got into the car that the defendant was not a taxi driver.

She said: “You knew that car was not a taxi or, perhaps, as you were drunk you did not care.

“You asked for a lift and he said yes and you got in the back of the car.

“He did not tell you at any stage he was a taxi driver but was willing to give you a lift home. You had no other way of getting home.”

Ms Mulvanny added: “You made a choice to accept a lift from a stranger. You have now reacted and blown this whole situation [going to the police] out of proportion.”

The jury was told to consider whether it believed Mr Williams had told the victim he was a taxi driver before she entered his car and whether Mr Williams had dropped the woman off at the most appropriate location after she asked to leave the vehicle.

Mr Williams drove the victim along the M27, before dropping her off on the slip road of junction nine.

It was en-route to her home.