AN alleged rape in the middle of a Huddersfield housing estate never happened.
And the newly-married Iraqi refugee arrested by police in connection with the offence has spoken of his month of hell.
Marco Fatah, 23, said: "I feel I have been violated by this false allegation. I fled persecution and now feel to have been persecuted again."
Police have revealed that the 33-year-old woman who claimed she had been raped on a footpath on the Riddings estate in Sheepridge has completely withdrawn the allegation and they have confirmed the offence never happened.
Now Marco - who wed a Huddersfield girl only on January 31 - has revealed the nightmare of his arrest and the emotional trauma he has endured ever since.
The woman claimed she had been seriously sexually assaulted on a footpath between Sheepridge Road and Ruskin Grove at 10.30pm on Monday, February 9.
A police spokeswoman said: "Following investigation, police can now confirm that the complaint has been withdrawn and no offence took place."
Marco, an Iraqi Kurd who fled from political persecution under the Saddam Hussein regime, said: "It's been a terrible time from the moment I was arrested.
"I've worked hard in this country to settle into the community. I got a job and have done my best to improve my English. I was happy here. I respected people and they were friendly to me."
Marco married his 20-year-old wife, Maryam, on January 31 - and she has suffered high blood pressure and lost both her job and left her college course due to the stress of what has happened.
The couple live on Sheepridge Road and Marco has been granted permission to stay in the UK for four years.
For more than a year he has worked as a shop assistant at Sheepridge Post Office and supermarket on Sheepridge Road - about 500 yards from the scene of the supposed rape - and had served the `victim' in the shop many times.
On the night the offence is said to have happened, he left the shop at 10pm and spent the next four hours at a house with friends.
The next day Marco was serving in the shop at about 7.30pm when six police officers arrived.
One of those in the shop, 54-year-old Mrs Janette Graley, of Wiggan Lane, Sheepridge, said: "All the officers were in plain clothes and one asked to speak to Marco.
"They told him he was being arrested on suspicion of rape, but Marco does not understand a lot of English and it was clear by his face he didn't know what was happening to him.
"I immediately thought there was no way he could have ever done anything like that. I never doubted him for a minute.
"He's such a nice lad, so helpful and polite."
Marco said: "I've not slept properly since I was arrested. Now my hope is that people treat me as they did before this terrible thing happened."