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In the news - policeman sacked for rape even though charges not brought

(49 Posts)
ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:14:15

item here

"The victim complained but the Crown Prosecution Service ruled there was not enough evidence to press charges.

But a police misconduct hearing found the sex was "non-consensual"."

"A CPS spokesman said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute as it had to prove the offence had happened beyond all reasonable doubt.

But the Met's disciplinary hearing findings, based on the information gathered by the IPCC inquiry, are based on the balance of all probabilities, and found the police officer had non-consensual sex with the woman."

This is very interesting.

I am surprised that the police were allowed to sack him on that basis.
It brings up the possibility of whether civil prosecutions (is that what they're called?) where it has to be a balance of probability rather than beyond all reasonable doubt would be more successful with rape than the criminal process.
It brings up questions that would have the "false rape society" people going bananas with rage. We have had posters on here interpreting our conversations as "wanting to change the weight of evidence required in rape cases "etc etc and this is sort of what has happened here (although not in a criminal court). They will see this as the thin end of the wedge.

It's all very interesting.

Thoughts anyone?

sethstarkaddersmum Thu 18-Nov-10 21:17:40

I'm reading Helena Kennedy 'Eve Was Framed' at the moment and there is a woman in there who did just that - civil proceedings for rape. She won but then he won on appeal and she didn't feel able to take it any further.

ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:19:54

Should point out at this stage that i am not in any way suggesting that rape should be tried in civil court rather than criminal court.

It's just very interesting what has happened here and I wondered what you lot made of it smile

ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:20:27

The idea that you might have to go through two sets of court proceedings, with the appeals and everything, is terribly daunting isn't it.

scurryfunge Thu 18-Nov-10 21:20:43

Rape should always be a criminal matter. Making it civil puts it alongside trespass and the like.

scurryfunge Thu 18-Nov-10 21:21:28

Sorry, posted before your 2nd post.

scallopsrgreat Thu 18-Nov-10 21:25:55

Spooky! I was just reading this! So what is the difference between non-consensual sex and rape then?

I too was surprised that the police were allowed to sack him on that basis - if it couldn't be proved hmm.

Civil prosecutions for rape - not sure about that. I would feel uncomfortable that rape was getting different treatment based only on the facts that myths are perpetuated throughout society. Stamping out those myths and predjudices would be much more satisfying.

I'd like to not care about what the "false rape society" think but unfortunately it has a great impact on rape cases and I fear you maybe right sad.

ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:29:12

Just thinking out loud. What i thought was sort of:

- We are stuffed using the criminal courts for rape, and we need to work hard to improve things, but without a total change in society and how all of this stuff is approached and how ordinary people feel about it I think progress is going to be very slow
- Yet here we have a man who has had to suffer consequences for what he did, even though he has not been convicted

It's interesting, isn't it? How can this help us? Can it?

nigglewiggle Thu 18-Nov-10 21:31:14

I would imagine that he was sacked for engaging in sexual activity on police premises. Unfortunately as the CPS determined that there was insufficient evidence to perosecute him for rape he did not face a criminal trial. But, to my knowledge there is no disciplinary offence for engaging in 'non-consensual intercourse' - the presumption being that the criminal courts would deal with it as rape.

ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:32:01

You think that the article has mis-reported it, niggle?

scurryfunge Thu 18-Nov-10 21:35:51

He will have been dismissed for something like malfeasance in a public office, bringing the force into disrepute or something similar, not the act of "non-consensual intercourse".

nigglewiggle Thu 18-Nov-10 21:36:05

I think they are using terms that people will understand and avoiding using the word "rape" for fear of litigation.

ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:39:32

I think that people would understand if he were sacked for having sex on duty, or bringing the office into disrepute etc.

The article is very clear in stating that the tribunal found that on the balance of probabilities, the sex was non-consensual. Do you really think they made that up? (Not a shirty question, genuinely). I mean if there were no such findings then presumably the reporters are leaving themselves open to being sued?

ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:41:39

And this is a quote:

"IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: "The actions of this officer will rightly appal the public as they have appalled me.

"His behaviour was in my view predatory and he exploited the vulnerability of a young woman.

"His conduct would be contemptible from anyone - from a police officer it is nothing short of despicable."

That is a direct quote from someone at the IPCC and it says that in her (their) view he was predatory etc.

scurryfunge Thu 18-Nov-10 21:41:51

I think on the balance you could probably deduce that she had been raped but it cannot have met the test to be tried in court -ie. in the public interest (yes) and enough evidence (supposedly not).

ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:43:00

Yes scurry that is in the article.

I am interested that everyone is now saying that the article must be totally wrong confused

nigglewiggle Thu 18-Nov-10 21:43:07

As Scurry says - there are specific disciplinary offences to cover it, but they don't necessarily mean anything to the general public. The Metropolitan Police will have determined the best way to get rid of this digrace to the force once the CPS have declined to prosecute. The press have described it in layman's terms.

sethstarkaddersmum Thu 18-Nov-10 21:43:38

maybe the logic is not 'you HAVE had non-consensual sex therefore we are sacking you' so much as 'you have brought the force into disrepute by acting in such a way as to leave a tribunal feeling that on the balance of probabilities you are likely to have had non-consensual sex therefore we are sacking you.'

ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:45:13

Fuller quote from the IPCC woman in the Evening Standard:

"IPCC commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said today: “The actions of this officer will rightly appal the public as they have appalled me. His behaviour was in my view predatory and he exploited the vulnerability of a young woman.

“He removed her from the safety of a social function, where she had friends who could have taken care of her, took her to police premises and had sex with her without her consent. He then sent her out alone, in the middle of the night, with bus fare to get home.

“His conduct would be contemptible from anyone; from a police officer it is nothing short of despicable.” She added that the complainant had “shown tremendous bravery”."

From here

It seems quite clear to me.

ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:48:19

I don't understand why people on the thread are so determined to say that the IPCC would not have had anything to say about whether the sex was consensual or not, when it says everywhere that they did.

This is the problem on MN, you post something in good faith and people come to say "well that can't have happened" despite everything saying that it has, and then you can't have a conversation about what you wanted to talk about in the first place confused

nigglewiggle Thu 18-Nov-10 21:50:00

Precisely Seth. The discilplinary hearing is based on the balance of probabilities. The CPS is making their decision to prosecute on the basis of what can be proved beyind reasonable doubt. This makes a difference.

The report is not wrong, but it is portraying the story in terms that people are more used to without actually spelling out the (libelous) truth which is that he raped her.

Casmama Thu 18-Nov-10 21:50:50

If I understand it correctly the alleged rape occured in a locker room in St Pancreas train station not a police station, and the officer was off duty - it that how others have interpreted it?

ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:52:08

YES it says in the article that the CPS didn't prosecute because they needed proof beyond all reasonable doubt, while the tribunal only needed a balance of probabilities.

I don't understand what the problem is here, why are we having this conversation? People just keep reiterating what it says in the OP confused

ISNT Thu 18-Nov-10 21:52:41

casmama yes that's how I interpreted it.

scurryfunge Thu 18-Nov-10 21:54:26

I think it is clear that they are saying he is an unconvicted rapist but he has not been sacked because of that particular label. You can't sack someone for being an unconvicted person.

Another breach of his police regulations is what they have used to dismiss him.

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