A judge has called for an inquiry after the trial of a student accused of rape collapsed because police had failed to reveal evidence proving his innocence.Thus reports David Brown in the Times of London. As Instapundit says, this should lead to jail time, but not just for the woman, also for the members of the bar in charge of the prosecution. Shouldn't at the very least the reparations that the young man is due come directly from their pockets? And why on earth can't she be named and identified?! Maybe there ought to be jail time for the (fake news?) journalists (or, rather, their editors) refusing to fully inform the public (not least, the future potential lovers of hers)…
[Update: thanks for the Instalanche, Glenn Reynolds; Instapundit readers, as the full story turns out to be even worse, do not fail to check out the update to this post, Betrayed by the UK System of Justice: The case of Liam Allan is just the “tip of the iceberg” (!!)]
Liam Allan, 22, spent almost two years on bail and three days in the dock at Croydon crown court before his trial was halted yesterday.
The judge demanded a review of disclosure of evidence by the Metropolitan Police, Britain’s biggest force, and called for an inquiry at the “very highest level” of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). He warned of the risks of “serious miscarriages of justice” after hearing that, to save costs, material was not always handed to defence lawyers.
Mr Allan, a criminology undergraduate at Greenwich University, had been warned that he would be jailed for at least ten years if found guilty after being charged with six rapes and six sexual assaults against a woman who told police that she does not enjoy sex. Mr Allan said the sex was consensual and that the woman was acting maliciously because he would not see her again after he started university.
His lawyers had repeatedly been refused access to records from the woman’s telephone because police insisted that there was nothing of interest for the prosecution or defence, the court was told.
When a new prosecution barrister took over the case the day before the start of the trial, he ordered police to hand over any telephone records. It was revealed that they had a computer disk containing copies of 40,000 messages.
They showed that she continued to pester Mr Allan for “casual sex”, told friends how much she enjoyed it with him and discussed her fantasies of being raped and having violent sex.
Jerry Hayes, the prosecuting barrister, told the court yesterday that he would offer no evidence. “I would like to apologise to Liam Allan. There was a terrible failure in disclosure which was inexcusable,” he said.
Mr Hayes, a former Tory MP and criminal barrister for 40 years, added:
“There could have been a very serious miscarriage of justice, which could have led to a very significant period of imprisonment and life on the sex offenders register. It appears the [police] officer in the case has not reviewed the disk, which is quite appalling.”Speaking outside court, Mr Allan told The Times: “I can’t explain the mental torture of the past two years. I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thing — the system I want to work in.” His mother, Lorraine Allan, 46, a bank worker, hugged her son as he was surrounded by friends who had been lined up to give character evidence if the trial continued.
“In the current climate, in these sorts of cases, you are guilty until you can prove you are innocent,” she said. “The assumption is there is no smoke without fire.”
Radhia Karaa, a district crown prosecutor, wrote to the court admitting that the handling of the telephone downloads “has fallen below the standard that we expect”. Judge Peter Gower found Mr Allan not guilty on all charges. “There is something that has gone wrong and it is a matter that the CPS, in my judgment, should be considering at the very highest level,” he said. “Otherwise there is a risk not only of this happening again but that the trial process will not detect what has gone wrong and there will be a very serious miscarriage of justice. He [Mr Allan] leaves the courtroom an innocent man without a stain on his character.”
The judge said that police must tell prosecutors about all material collected during their investigations. “It seems to me to be a recipe for disaster if material is not viewed by a lawyer,” he said. “Something has gone very, very wrong in the way this case was investigated and brought to court.”
Julia Smart, for the defence, said she received the details of the woman’s text messages on the evening before she was due to cross-examine her, so stayed up reading them. When she told the court what she had found, the trial was halted. She said she believed that evidence from phones was being withheld from defence lawyers to save money.
Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, has pushed to increase the prosecution and conviction of sexual offences. Rapes recorded by police have risen from 12,295 in 2002-03 to 45,100 last year but the number of rapes referred to the CPS for a decision on charging has stayed broadly static. Of the 35,000 adult and child rapes recorded by police in 2015-16, just over 6,800 were referred to police, a fall of about 690 on the previous year, according to Rape Monitoring Group figures.
A Met spokeswoman said: “We are aware of this case being dismissed and are carrying out an urgent assessment to establish the circumstances.”
Update: Betrayed by the System of Justice: The case of Liam Allan is just the “tip of the iceberg”A STUDENT has described going through “mental torture” after a rape case against him was thrown out in court because police had failed to hand over more than 40,000 messages from his accuser.Liam Allan, 22, faced up to ten years in jail charged with six counts of rape and six counts of sexual assault against a young woman over a 14-month period that began when he was 19.
… Now, the judge has called for an inquiry at the “very highest level” to understand why police failed to hand over critical evidence including 40,000 messages from the accuser to Mr Allan and friends.
The messages showed how she had continually messaged Mr Allan for “casual sex”, said how much she enjoyed it and discussed fantasies of violent sex and rape, The Times reports.
… Outside the court, Mr Allan said he went through “mental torture” over the two year period and relied on the system to uncover evidence that would exonerate him.
When first accused, he turned to a local lawyer he had done work experience with and said he was terrified at the idea of going to prison with sex offenders and worried about what would happen to his mum and flatmates when he was away.
“You are all on your own. I could not talk to my mother about the details of the case because she might have been called as a witness. I couldn’t talk with my friends because they might have been called. I felt completely isolated at every stage of the process,” he said.
“I can’t explain the mental torture of the past two years. ... I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thing, the system I want to work in.”
… The Crown Prosecution Service said they will not conduct a “management review” with the Metropolitian Police to “examine the way in which the case was handled.”
Mr Hayes, who is a former Conservative MP wrote in The Times the case marked the most “appalling failure of disclosure I have ever encountered.”
Update 2: Confirmation bias in this alarmed age says that because some teachers have been abusers, some men have raped, and many victims weren’t believed, it follows that assuming guilt is the safe bet
… There have to be consequences, because sexual crime is too serious, lying about it too wicked, to be used as a weapon of the petulant. In the Allan case we know nothing of the vulnerabilities or mental problems of the woman who lied, but it will be dismaying if she is not promptly charged with perverting the course of justice. Or, at least, wasting police time. Certainly she should lose anonymity. …Update 3: Police Corruption in the UK — Manchester force ‘took bribes from organised crime gang’