trial of alleged rape victim who killed herself

(367 Posts)

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chaosmonkey Thu 06-Nov-14 19:55:12

www.theguardian.com/law/2014/nov/06/call-crown-prosecutors-account-suicide-alleged-rape-victim

A young woman who said she had been raped went on to kill herself after the Crown Prosecution Service put her on trial for making up the allegation in a case originally instigated by her alleged attacker.

A bit speechless, so have just cut and paste initial para - sorry

LurcioAgain Thu 06-Nov-14 19:59:37

Bloody hell. Her father is absolutely right - there should be a public enquiry into this. If the facts are as described in that article (and from the police statements, it sounds very much as though they are - it comes across as a very careful and thorough piece of journalism) the CPS should be hung out to dry over this one.

PuffinsAreFicticious Thu 06-Nov-14 20:06:13

There is so much wrong with what has been done to that poor woman that I just wouldn't know where to start to unpick it.

The fact that the man who allegedly drugged and raped her was able to bring a private prosecution, which the CPS then took over and was pursuing, despite there being no evidence to support it is very worrying. Does this mean that any man of means will be able to do similar? Where does that leave women raped by rich men? This looks like the perfect way for another Saville to get away with doing whatever he likes.

FloraFox Thu 06-Nov-14 20:12:49

That's appalling. Private prosecutions for allegations of rape should be prohibited. I'm generally against private prosecutions but this is very wrong indeed.

scallopsrgreat Thu 06-Nov-14 20:21:01

Oh that's awful. That poor woman and her family.

It's an example of how the justice system can be used to perpetuate the power imbalances between men and women.

MyEmpireOfDirt Thu 06-Nov-14 20:23:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MyEmpireOfDirt Thu 06-Nov-14 20:25:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scallopsrgreat Thu 06-Nov-14 20:29:02

I don't think that the police did much wrong in this particular case though Empire. They were consistent is saying there was no evidence she'd lied. The CPS on the other hand...

That's not to say the police don't handle other cases badly though. We know they do!

MyEmpireOfDirt Thu 06-Nov-14 20:29:55

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MyEmpireOfDirt Thu 06-Nov-14 20:30:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DanceToJoyDivision Thu 06-Nov-14 20:31:52

Dear god this is awful. What were the CPS thinking?

SevenZarkSeven Thu 06-Nov-14 20:32:10

I also don't understand how/why the private prosecution was taken over by the CPS.

Was the man very wealthy, was he / his lawyers able to exert some influence over the CPS? The whole thing seems very peculiar.

I suppose he has got a result he will be extremely happy with now and he hasn't needed to go to court.

PinkSquash Thu 06-Nov-14 20:33:29

That is disgusting, I hope there isn't a CPS cover up and I hope some justice happens for the family.

So worrying how easy it seems to get the CPS twisted against the alleged victim.

SevenZarkSeven Thu 06-Nov-14 20:36:33

The CPS have form for this sort of thing though and they have had guidance to be very careful when considering whether to prosecute women around rape stuff.

The guidance came out after they took a women to court for withdrawing a claim of rape, which meant that someone they acknowledged had been the victim of ongoing DV and rape went to prison, and her children were left with the man who they had witnessed doing this.

RubyrooUK Thu 06-Nov-14 20:39:22

This is appalling.

I absolutely believe the police should be able to prosecute people who lie about rape (which as we know is a very, very tiny amount anyway).

But if the police do not believe there is a case to be brought, then a private prosecution should not be possible. If it's not possible to peruse the rape case due to lack of evidence, it shouldn't be possible to pursue an private prosecution that the police have not thought provable.

Very worrying for vulnerable women and I find this incredible.

Mintyy Thu 06-Nov-14 20:39:52

“We are concerned in principle about someone who has been accused of rape being able to bring a private prosecution against the complainant because this allows that individual to use the law to do something guaranteed to intimidate their accuser,” he said.

That's the nub of it.

How does it usually work if individuals who have been accused of rape want to clear their name?

SevenZarkSeven Thu 06-Nov-14 20:58:15

I'm not sure what you'd consider to be "clearing their name" mintyy?

People who are accused of crimes that do not get prosecuted generally try and forget about it and get on with their lives.

What would you like to see?

SevenZarkSeven Thu 06-Nov-14 20:59:21

I mean if they have lots of money obviously they have avenues to pursue like this man did.

Things tend to work on the side of the powerful / wealthy whatever situation you are looking at.

Mintyy Thu 06-Nov-14 21:04:29

By clearing their name I suppose I mean having it on record that they were wrongly accused.

What happens in these cases if you don't have the money or resources to bring a private prosecution? And why, if those circumstances don't apply here, was a private prosecution allowed to run? It seems an absurd and scandalous privilige of the rich.

CaulkheadUpNorth Thu 06-Nov-14 21:09:10

I'm terrified of this happening. The longer mine takes to go to court, the more I think that it'll all be turned back on me and someone say I lied. Having a pretty current issue with my mental health wouldn't make it look promising on my side if that did happen.

SevenZarkSeven Thu 06-Nov-14 21:09:56

Well it didn't work in this case even though he was rich, as he won't get his name cleared in that way as the woman is dead and so can't be taken to trial.

Most people when accused of a crime and then not prosecuted try to forget about it and get on with their lives. To start up prosecutions against the people / persons / organisations who accused them in order to officially clear names will be very time consuming.

Remember the victim in rape cases is a witness, so you'd be looking at the ability across the board for all people accused of crimes to take any and all witnesses to court in the event that a prosecution is not proceeded with.

That seems like a waste of public money to me and would be very time consuming. Additionally there is the issues that many cases are not proceeded with due to a lack of evidence, like this one seems to be from the article, and so I mean you're opening up a very expensive very massive thing here.

SevenZarkSeven Thu 06-Nov-14 21:11:14

Where someone is found to have made a false accusation there is already provision in the law for their prosecution and this law is exercised.

I'm not sure what more there needs to be.

MyEmpireOfDirt Thu 06-Nov-14 21:18:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MyEmpireOfDirt Thu 06-Nov-14 21:20:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mintyy Thu 06-Nov-14 21:22:04

Have a feeling I'm not really being understood here, so will bow out.

I hope the terrible story linked in the op will not sink without trace.

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