Businessman Cleared of False Sexual Assault AllegationNot guilty verdict - client exonerated
Case study summary
Our client was found Not Guilty of a serious sexual assault at Lewes Crown Court after being falsely accused by a live-in nanny. Our specialist sexual offences solicitors worked tirelessly to expose the truth and give our client the best representation we could.
Our client was charged with three counts of Sexual Assault contrary to s.3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. If convicted he didn't only face the horrifying prospect of prison. He also risked being labelled a sex offender, and potentially losing his family. Even his right to stay in the UK was under threat.
He was a successful businessman in the HR sector, and he ran two large companies. He had good standing in the community and was well-liked by his employees. He had moved to the UK in 2014 from India to be with his wife who worked as a nurse in a serious burns unit. Together they had two daughters who they adored and worked every waking hour to support.
Sadly tragedy struck the family during the first wave of Covid-19 when his wife’s father passed away in India. His wife was able to work with the Indian Embassy to secure tickets on an emergency flight so she could go home and lay her father to rest. The family had a matter of days, in the middle of a pandemic, to secure help with the childcare so our client could continue to operate his businesses while his wife was away. They posted an advert on a job site to which three people replied. In a panic, he contacted the first applicant who couldn’t start straight away. The second applicant could but she demanded more money. He had little choice but to agree and the date was set for her to start work as a live-in nanny.
From the very moment she arrived at the property things started to go awry. She sent messages to her sister saying our client had hugged her and put his arm around her which made her feel uncomfortable. She sent messages the next day saying exactly the same thing. Her sister was clearly becoming anxious and encouraged her to report any further transgressions. In parallel she was texting her boyfriend who lived in America, he was becoming increasingly upset by the situation and threatened to dump her if she didn’t leave.
As the week progressed her claims became increasingly worrying. They culminated in a conversation with her sister in which she claimed our client had taken her out shopping on his own, forcibly kissed her and placed her hand on his penis. There followed a frantic exchange of messages which ended with her telling the client, at 2 am, that her grandmother was sick and she needed to leave immediately. Her entire family drove to pick her up and the next thing our client saw was three police officers knocking on his front door.
In a state of utter shock, he was arrested and taken to the police station where he was interviewed with the duty solicitor present. He received poor advice and was allowed to answer every question that was asked of him, despite English being his second language, suffering the extreme stress of a first arrest, and knowing his children had been taken into temporary care.
As the dust settled he did some online research for the best specialist sexual offence solicitors he could find. He picked up the phone and called us. After an hour of talking through the case, we knew something didn’t add up. The client told us that she had disclosed to him that she had a mood disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Immediately we instructed an expert psychologist to look at the evidence and provide us with a professional view. We learned that people who suffer from this condition often find relationships toxic as they misinterpret both words and actions, we also learned that false claims of sexual assault are far more common among people with BPD.
Luckily the complainant had told the police she suffered from this condition so we pressed hard on the CPS to disclose her medical records. Our efforts meant that we were able to ask her questions about her condition at the trial. She confirmed everything our expert had said. We retained a specialist barrister, Sam Robinson QC of Garden Court Chambers. He did an expert job of handling her sensitively and calmly while managing to extract key pieces of information to help the jury understand that she could have made a mistake.
We prepared our client with extreme attention to detail. He was unbelievably nervous about giving evidence, but our preparation meant that he gave credible evidence to the jury which directly contradicted hers. We also asked his wife to give evidence. She explained that she had video calls with the complainant every day and she seemed happy and easy going, not once did she express any concerns. Our preparation of the case was thorough, detailed, and well-considered. In the trial, it showed.
The jury deliberated for five hours before coming back with a unanimous verdict of Not Guilty. Our client was exonerated and the emotions he had been containing for so long came out in floods of tears. He was free to go back to his life as a dutiful father and husband and to the life he had built in the UK.
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