Former British soap star CHRISTOPHER QUINTEN has been cleared of raping a 22-year-old student in a London nightclub last year (05). The ex-Coronation Street actor punched the air in joy after being acquitted by a London court yesterday (09JUN06). Quinten, who played mechanic BRIAN TILSLEY in the soap for 11 years, had always maintained the sex was consensual. Outside court he hugged his girlfriend ALISON SLATER and said, "My nightmare is over. Even though I knew I was innocent of all charges made against me, and I knew if it went to court I would be acquitted, it's still been the worst time of my life. "I have literally been to hell, and thank goodness I'm back today."