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The rape case shown in 24 Hours in Police Custody yesterday on Channel 4: Did the police do enough to gather evidence for a charge?

(40 Posts)
KindDogsTail Fri 17-Jun-16 22:28:57

Trigger Warning.

This was about a Spanish girl who had allegedly been raped. The CPS had the alleged perpetrator in custody for 24 hours. They were not able to bring a charge in the end because of lack of evidence.

I wondered if anyone else who watched this wondered if the police
did enough to find evidence.

Does anyone think they should have had photographs of the bruising on Alba's arms taken when she was first in hospital after the alleged rape? At one point they said they did not have any. By that time the bruises were fading.

There was blood on the sheets. They did not seem to ask what level of violence had been needed for that or ask the man about it.

On the CCTV footage when she was walking out of the room in the corridor, it seemed she was walking oddly. The police did not mention this. Did I imagine that?

Also, an interpreter was talking to Alba in Spanish. The police never seemed to look into whether or not she would have been capable of saying what the accused said she had - in English.

Why did they not do more to work out what the "I will" shouting had meant that the non-English speaking German in another room thought he had heard her shouting. Perhaps the man had been telling her to do something with threat and she said 'I will, I will!' or some other explanation.

Anyway, I feel sick with sadness for her.

BengalCatMum Fri 17-Jun-16 22:33:31

I think it should have gone to court; he may have plead guilty when it came down to the day.

The statistics at the end about unreported rape rates and conviction rates are truly shocking.

I don't know the solution but surely more can be done.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 17-Jun-16 22:36:25

I saw it and felt so sorry for her.

The police did try to tell the cps that the cctv showed her looking upset and ducking away from him.

I think the german witness was the nail in the coffin. The victim couldn't remember what the "I will" meant, they did ask her. So she can't explain that. Maybe the german guy was mistaken however it would make a prosecution very hard when there is someone saying he heard a woman sounding like she was enjoying herself and saying "I will"

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 17-Jun-16 22:37:13

She was brave waiving her anonymity and being on national TV.

angryangryyoungwoman Fri 17-Jun-16 22:39:14

I watched that. Very upsetting. Yes, I thought she was walking oddly afterwards too. Unfortunately it only proves rough sex, not whether consent was given.

angryangryyoungwoman Fri 17-Jun-16 22:40:40

I believed from what I saw, that she was raped. Shocking, upsetting, and the statistics around rape conviction rates are horrific

gryffindorwannabe Fri 17-Jun-16 22:56:16

Agree with you about the bruising, I thought the same thing but missed the start of the programme so wasn't sure how long it was until Alba reported it/went to hospital. Although they did say that they didn't think the bruising was consistent with constraint.

I would imagine there is a lot more to the interviews than we saw, so maybe they did ask about the sheets?

I think she walked funny all the time! I noticed her walking exactly the same during some of the filming in Spain. In fact I actually thought that they pain she described would affect her movements more.

Agree about the language barrier. I said to DH at the time that a German speakers interpretation of what she said in a Spanish accent may not be accurate. I thought they should have asked her to repeat "I will it" and also to say it with someone's hand over her mouth as per her original statement. I was surprised that the police seemed to accept that the German man didn't hear any fear in her voice, as surely you can't really understand the tone of someone's voice if they have someone's hand over their mouth?

I also questioned his statement on putting his finger up her bum. He said that she was surprised afterwards so he admitted that there was no discussion prior to him doing it, and therefore he couldn't have gained her consent. EVEN if she HAD consented to vaginal intercourse, he made it clear that she hadn't consented to anal penetration.

Fwiw I believe that she was raped, but there was definitely inconsistencies in her statement. Eg she said that she felt coerced to go to the hotel with him, but in the cctv it definitely looked like she was happy to leave with him. There's nothing wrong with that, but I think that she felt that it would help her case more to lie about it.

The statistics of rape cases going unreported, and then the lack of convictions is truly shocking. If only 1 in 10 cases are reported, and only 6% are convicted then that is only 6 in 1000 cases ending in conviction!

KindDogsTail Fri 17-Jun-16 22:58:11

So she can't explain that [the 'I will, I will"]

I think there are other possibilities. If she was actually speaking English, he could have been hurting her to do something with threat and she was shouting that she would, she would to make him stop.

There were no symptoms in her whole body afterwards that she had been shouting "I will I will" with joy!.

Or, if she was speaking Spanish, what if she was saying "Abuele! Abuele!" (B sounds like V is Spanish, so like Auwelle auwelle) That means 'Granny!Granny'!. She mentioned her granny later. Her granny was evidently her figure of love back at home.

Maybe something else.

Put on the spot there was no reason she would have remembered what the 'I will' was about.She had just come back from Spain some time after and probably had no idea what they were talking about.

The German did not say it sounded as though she enjoyed it, just that she did not sound distressed, but he did say she sounded loud.

KindDogsTail Fri 17-Jun-16 23:09:04

EVEN if she HAD consented to vaginal intercourse, he made it clear that she hadn't consented to anal penetration
That is a very, good point.

I agree to about the German's interpretation of what he heard not being reliable.

I am not sure how soon afterwards the police received the call from the hospital. I thought it was soon afterwards, but I know she went home first.

I agree she did not seem to have told the truth about going to the hotel with him. She must have thought she'd have been blamed for consenting at that stage. The police woman explained that well, saying it would be better to admit it. (I bet a barrister would have used consent, at that stage, to the hilt none the less.

I didn't watch it. So, he admitted anal penetration without consent but, that went nowhere, seemingly irrelevant. Not surprised, am disappointed.

Desmondo2016 Fri 17-Jun-16 23:17:06

They fit well over 20 hours of investigation into a programme lasting less than an hour.

Yes. I truly believe they did all they could. You could see how personally investigated the OICs were when they appealled the initial CPS decision. It was always going to fail to meet the threshold for charge based on the evidence they showed, but that was not due to police negligence.

Desmondo2016 Fri 17-Jun-16 23:19:51

**personally invested

fusspot66 Fri 17-Jun-16 23:25:20

I was sad at the outcome. She was brave taking it to the police.

KindDogsTail Fri 17-Jun-16 23:35:40

They fit well over 20 hours of investigation into a programme lasting less than an hour. (How do you know it was 20 hours out of interest?)

If you do not have access to everything they looked into how do you know that they thought of every angle? Even within what we did see there seem to be some points they missed.

The policewoman was personally invested and absolutely did her best, but that in itself did not necessarily mean they did enough to get more evidence. I am not saying they were intentionally negligent.

KindDogsTail Sat 18-Jun-16 01:15:16

DecaffCoffeeAndRollupsPlease Fri 17-Jun-16 23:10:29
I didn't watch it. So, he admitted anal penetration without consent but, that went nowhere, seemingly irrelevant. Not surprised, am disappointed

Yes he did but the policeman missed that.
The man said he had put his finger in her bottom and she had jumped. He said she had said 'You should have asked' e.g she had not given consent.

The policeman asked the man if she had been consenting as though it were an on-going process.

The man said he could not have a hard on and could not have sex. Yet no account was made of how the blood on the sheets had got there, the bruising on her body (they had failed to have photographed) or the blood from her bottom.

The German had heard a loud woman's voice but not a man's voice. That did not seem to strike he police as being odd. The german also contradicted himself saying on the one hand you do not notice the tone of voice when you have been disturbed; on the other that he would probably have said something if he had thought she sounded distressed. So in that last statement he was more likely just absolving himself. No one asked what sort of man he was, only that he did not speak or understand much English. His his not having heard distress in her tone then became evidence for lack of evidence.

iremembericod Sat 18-Jun-16 09:18:18

I thought it was very poor policing

The questioning of the rapist was especially poor. They kept asking really closed questions that made it really easy for him not to trip up.

I don't remember the exact words when they were checking he had consent but it went somewhere along the lines of:

"This is a very serious allegation. Are you sure you had consent?"



"Because she groaned"

"In pleasure"


It probably wasn't quite that bad, but still pretty bad. They were all closed and leading questions.

If they had said "explain how x consented to the intercourse"

"She groaned"

"How did that imply consent"

"Erm, she was enjoying it"

"How were you sure"


They might have got some better evidence

KindDogsTail Sat 18-Jun-16 11:41:11

I agree about the closed questions.
When the policeman asked the alleged rapist, 'Did you rape her?'
Of course he would say 'No'.

^Pollsters have long known that the phrasing of a question can significantly affect how respondents answer it — think about the language battle over “pro-life” and “anti-choice.” So maybe it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that this applies to sexual assault^:

KindDogsTail Sat 18-Jun-16 20:16:19

The man was even wearing a T shirt with a woman in her bra, with the words EASY on it. It does not prove he raped her but it shows his attitude.

angryangryyoungwoman Sat 18-Jun-16 20:35:51

I noticed his t-shirt too.
The closed questions that are mentioned above are interesting as are the contradictions in the German guys statement.
It is making me feel very uncomfortable actually, I watched it and thought that it should have been handled differently and this thread is helping me understand why.

KindDogsTail Sat 18-Jun-16 20:52:50

I am glad you feel all that too as I can't stop thinking about it. I want to try to write in to the bedford police, but I am sure it won't do any good. I wrote quickly t rape crisis last night.

I've just asked for that post I made about the man's Easy T shirt to be deleted though.
The reason is that I was suggesting the way he dressed showed what he was like, and though that is an idea that should not be promoted.

Because, even when it is reversed it is still somehow the other side of the same coin to those awful ideas, such as: not wearing a burka - even when you are 4 if you are pretty - means you are asking for sex; low cut short skirts and slutty clothes are asking for sex etc

I feel so sorry for that girl. I think she looked very vulnerable in the first place. It was so sad when she was talking about her granny.

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Sat 18-Jun-16 23:30:39

I had to turn it off as I knew it'd end up going unprosecuted, and I couldn't bear to watch it.

Desmondo2016 Sun 19-Jun-16 09:09:26

Kinddogstail - I know it was over 20(it was wayyyyyyy over actually) because he was released from custody with 4 hours left on the clock. Plus they did all the investigating prior to his arrest and then all the further enquiries once he was released on bail.

KindDogsTail Sun 19-Jun-16 16:23:24

You are right, as I was confusing the time they spent with the 24 hours in custody with some of that being the time when everyone has gone to bed. Thanks for explaining.

This makes no difference to how troubling I found the case for reasons already said though.

Desmondo2016 Sun 19-Jun-16 17:58:57

I 100% agree. I get a bit defensive sometimes because this is exactly what I do for a living and so often we have to tell victims we can't take their case any further and it's soul destroying. We put our heart and soul into cases like this only to meet with hurdles, obstacles and brick walls, and ultimately the CPS who can only apply the letter of the law to the case. I get that but it's so frustrating when you've put in a 20 hour shift 3 days in a row. I suppose i feel i have to stick up for my colleagues as i truly believe most have the same dedication to a case that i do! Id love to police in a world where his offensive T shirt COULD be seized as evidence lol!

angryangryyoungwoman Sun 19-Jun-16 20:08:16

I think there is a difference between wearing a short skirt etc, and a t-shirt like that. The t-shirt showed an attitude using the image and word. A skirt is just a skirt

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