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Commuter who walked past actress at Waterloo station cleared of 'bizarre' sex assault claim

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LurkingHusband Mon 08-Feb-16 12:02:46

A commuter has been cleared of sexually assaulting a well-known actress after a jury rejected claims the crime could have taken place in a brief half-second contact in a busy railway station.

Mark Pearson, a 51-year-old artist and picture framer, was accused of brushing against the actress, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in a mass of train passengers at London’s Waterloo station.

CCTV footage showed Mr Pearson, who was a complete stranger to the alleged victim, did not break his stride as he walked past the woman, who was heading to a rehearsal.


Not really much to say shock. I'm pleased the CPS will "respect the juries decision". The fact they had to state that implies there have been or will be times when they don't accept the juries decision.

RJnomore1 Mon 08-Feb-16 12:08:13

He was on this morning earlier. He seems broken and totally baffled. Rather disturbingly though they had some woman who set up women's refuges on championing him and saying women seem above the law.

What I don't understand is how what she said could happen - she says she was penetrated but she was wearing a dress and yoga pants and it happened in seconds in a busy place. I can't work the logistics of it out. I can't figure why they thought it was him either she didn't pick him out of a live up. In the spirit of I believe you I completely believe something bad happened to this woman but I just can't make sense of any of it or why it went as far as a jury trial when the cctv is so clear?

stiffstink Mon 08-Feb-16 12:08:40

Its very bizarre that the CPS proceeded with that particular charge if they had that CCTV footage.

Arfarfanarf Mon 08-Feb-16 12:14:46

So he walked straight past her in a fraction of a second and while holding a bag in one hand and a newspaper in the other and without pausing, stooping, bending, turning and without being seen by any of the people around them and with cctv proving he simply walked past her, he somehow committed sexual assault by penetration and they took this to court? One second viewing the cctv would or should have shown the police that nothing happened.
Clearly that man at that moment did nothing wrong. I am baffled as to how it even went to court.

LurkingHusband Mon 08-Feb-16 12:24:06

This is of course against a backdrop of complaints that successful prosecutions for rape and sexual assault are woefully low.

Maybe the CPS was trying to make up ?

Fugghetaboutit Mon 08-Feb-16 12:25:02

Could he have stuck his fingers near her bum area? The penetration part makes me wonder..

sootica Mon 08-Feb-16 12:28:12

He's shown on CETV walking towards her with a bag in one hand and a newspaper in the other and seconds after they've crossed paths in a busy concourse still with the bag and the newspaper. She said she was bumped into and penetrated for 2-3 seconds

My thoughts were either she or the CPS had the wrong man or he barged her accidentally and it was a vindictive claim

Arfarfanarf Mon 08-Feb-16 12:30:31

With which hand? The one in view holding the newspaper or the one in view holding his bag? And up a dress and under yoga gear without turning, pausing or being seen?

I dont believe that an incident took place at that time with that man captured on that cctv.

I cannot say that nothing has happened to that woman but certainly that man at that time on that day is clearly shown by the cctv evidence to have not assaulted her.

babybarrister Mon 08-Feb-16 12:31:04

she is apparently famous so I wonder if the CPS just did not have the courage to tell her how weak the case was and that they were not going to prosecute.

really shows how unfair it is that the defendant's name is out there but hers is not ...

MadisonMontgomery Mon 08-Feb-16 12:34:54

I read this - utterly bizarre, you can clearly see from the CCTV that nothing has happened. How on earth did anyone think it was worth taking to court?

AnthonyPandy Mon 08-Feb-16 12:48:58

I read this and thought it was most bizarre. Who approved it at the CPS? What a waste of money. Surely they have to think there is a fair chance it will result in a prosecution before putting it in court? I only hope the man realises everyone can see it was nonsensical and doesn't let it affect him any more than it has already. Would he be able to counter-sue or something?

AnthonyPandy Mon 08-Feb-16 12:52:04

A CPS spokesman said: “There was sufficient evidence for this case to proceed to court and progress to trial.

Erm...well clearly not.

LurkingHusband Mon 08-Feb-16 12:53:17

I only hope the man realises everyone can see it was nonsensical and doesn't let it affect him any more than it has already

Well, as MN shows, there are some who will forever shout "no smoke without fire" sad.

BYOSnowman Mon 08-Feb-16 12:55:47

it is really odd - and the jury took 90 mins to reach a verdict - that seems a long time given the CCTV

The whole Erin Pizzey involvement is interesting too

Hoppinggreen Mon 08-Feb-16 12:57:55

Just based on what I hve read online there was absolutely no evidence to support prosecuting this man but perhaps there are things we aren't aware of, for example maybe she was assaulted earlier/later and it was a case of mistaken identity?
In any case this poor man shouldn't never have had to go through this when there is clear cctv evidence he didn't do anything.

gunting Mon 08-Feb-16 13:00:33

Very strange... Makes you wonder if they have the right man or footage

BYOSnowman Mon 08-Feb-16 13:04:54

it said she didn't pick him out of a line up either

it is odd if she claimed she was assaulted at that exact time in that exact place. What a waste of money and what a gift to all those wanting to jump on the bandwagon re false rape allegations. The CPS need to have a review into wtf they were thinking of

AnthonyPandy Mon 08-Feb-16 13:08:12

With regards to the Jury taking 90 minutes, I did Jury service in the past and one of the charges we were deciding was very clear cut but we still went through all the points one by one to ensure anyone had a chance to ask questions etc. Plus they have to vote for a foreman. And fill in their travel claim form. And go to the loo if needed. So I can see how the 90 mins was easily filled.

NNalreadyinuse Mon 08-Feb-16 13:08:32

I am worried about this stance of 'I believe you', no matter what. Some women do lie. As a mother of sons, as well as a daughter, this concerns me, even though I know prosecutions for rapes are woeful and the motovation behind 'I believe you' is positive.

I think this man should have had anonymity. Given the cctv, I think searching questions have to be asked as to why he was prosecuted. Someone needs to justify exactly what evidence exited which led to this prosecution.

diddl Mon 08-Feb-16 13:11:41

How can he be named & her not?

Also, is she not visible on the pics in the link?

AnthonyPandy Mon 08-Feb-16 13:11:41

The woman must have been clear in her mind that 'something, somewhere', did happen. If you are going to make something up you wouldn't choose a busy public place with CCTV and where there was literally no stopping or interaction, but clearly the 'something, somewhere' was not there, with him.


gunting Mon 08-Feb-16 13:12:16

Diddl he chose to be named to raise awareness

gotthemoononastick Mon 08-Feb-16 13:16:12

As a mother of sons( and daughters )this is the nightmare...
It would break us if this happened to our proven innocent child in our late years.

firesidechat Mon 08-Feb-16 13:21:35

it is really odd - and the jury took 90 mins to reach a verdict - that seems a long time given the CCTV

I don't think they can be seen to reach a verdict too quickly.

I imagine they spent 89 minutes of that time drinking coffee and discussing the weather.

KathyBeale Mon 08-Feb-16 13:23:44

You can't name anyone who reports a sexual assault, unless they waive their right to anonymity or they're dead (like a murder victim being raped). You have to be quite careful about it and how it's reported in case of jigsaw identification (like you can't say so and so was convicted of raping his daughter because then you're identifying the victim). It applies even if the case never goes to court and if the defendant is acquitted. It's a long time since I worked on a paper, but I can't imagine that particular law has changed much.

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