Agreed - should have worded this as the judge could have directed a not-guilty verdict on points of law (as I think I did make clear much earlier in the conversation).The judge had no choice but to hear the case.
Juries do get things wrong, which is why we have a process of checks and balances.If you actually think a jury always gets it right history proves you horribly wrong.
The trial judge was happy that the law was followed AND the first appeal judge was happy that the verdict was safe.
If the jury had got it horribly wrong IN THIS FIRST TRIAL then both judges would have made serious errors.
The CPS has long been accused of not pursuing 'weaker' rape cases - i.e. where it's difficult to prove and get a conviction. This actually makes the guilty verdict a good indicator that they were right to pursue this, even though the later evidence was enough to throw doubt on the conviction.
I don't actually know what you mean by "no actual evidence of rape" - sticking your d*ck in someone without consent is rape. Full stop. The original trial judge made it abundantly clear to the jury the drunken consent was still consent. The jury decided there was enough evidence to convict 'beyond reasonable doubt' and the judge didn't think there was such a lack of evidence that he needed to direct them otherwise.