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CPS drop rape charge against businessman before trial

Case discontinued by the prosecution
17 July, 2018
Historic Sexual Offences

Lead Lawyer

Case study summary

Our client was accused of multiple rapes of his then partner's 2 year old sister in the early 1980's. After detailed written representations by this firm, the CPS finally dropped the charges against our client a few weeks before trial.

Case study

Our client was a successful businessman in his 50's. He had led a faultless life and had never received so much as a parking ticket from the authorities. Out of the blue he was accused of multiple serious rapes by a lady who was now in her 30's. She had claimed to police in a video interview that she recalled, when aged 2 and 3, being raped on numerous occasions by the man (our client) who had been the partner at the time of her much older sister.

The complainant had provided a graphic account of her experience. It appeared she had begun, in her early 30's, a course of counselling. This had led to the memories coming back to her in her dreams.

Our client categorically denied that any such incidents had ever occurred.

Representations were made to the CPS prior to any charging decision to point out that the burden was on the CPS to prove these offences had occurred and to point out the obvious difficulties in relying on the memory of a 2 year old. As can often be the case in these types of the cases, the prosecution decided it would soldier on towards a trial.

We prepared meticulously with our client obtaining his detailed instructions and providing him with emotional support through the process. Crucially, we analysed in detail the transcript of the video interview provided by the complainant. Expert reports were obtained. Firstly, from a world-renowned memory expert to comment upon the reliability of the memory of a 2 or 3 year old. Secondly, from a child psychologist and language expert to comment upon the descriptions of events provided by the complainant. Both provided their expert opinion - these memories could not be relied upon.

Upon receipt of the expert reports, this firm renewed its representations to the CPS. Finally the CPS were persuaded to see sense and the case was dropped a few weeks before trial. Aside from securing his acquittal, we also secured a Defendant's Costs Order for our client.

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