A MAN accused of raping a teenager, who plunged to her death from a motorway bridge days after the alleged attack, today walked free from court after the charges against him were dropped.

Sara Clark, 18, was found under a bridge spanning the M27 near Southampton on June 2 last year after a motorist drove over her and raised the alarm.

She had complained to police on May 30 that she suffered a serious sexual assault near her home in Calmore.

Her parents said they felt their daughter had killed herself because officers had not believed her and had not taken the allegations of assault seriously and the case was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Jagat Mawari, 30, of Goodwood Gardens, Totton, was charged with her rape, but the case against him was dropped today at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Prosecuting counsel Kerry Maylin told the court discontinuance notices had been served.

She added: "There were very difficult decisions bearing in mind the sad death in the matter of Sara Clark.

"Following that and the intense investigation that was thoroughly carried out by Hampshire police, the decision has been made that Sara Clark's evidence by way of her video interview, whilst permissible under the statute, would not, we feel, be allowed to be played to the jury bearing in mind the background of Sara Clark and her very troubled circumstances and the matters that clearly came to light on the evening when Sara Clark was about in the Totton and Southampton area."

Judge Roger Jarvis told Mr Mawari through a Hindi translator: "The case against you has been discontinued. You are no longer subject to any bail conditions. You are a free man. You can leave the dock."

An inquest at Southampton Coroner's Court has heard that Sara fell from the bridge and was unconscious and dying in the carriageway from severe head injuries when the car hit her.

A post-mortem examination found that she was three times over the drink-drive limit when she fell and her GP said she had been treated for depression in the past.

Southampton coroner Keith Wiseman told the hearing that Sara was "troubled in her personal life".

An open verdict was recorded during the inquest last year. Mr Wiseman said he could not be sure beyond reasonable doubt that Sara had intended to take her life as there were no eyewitnesses and no note was left.

He also said she was significantly drunk and this would have affected her judgment.