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Rape Case Dropped Day Before Trial - Several Accusers

Case discontinued by the prosecution
29 November, 2019
Sexual Offences
Rape Accusations

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Case study summary

Our client had been accused by three women of rape. We had a relentless fight with the prosecution over disclosure. We also did our own separate analysis of the parties' Facebook accounts. As a result, the whole case was dropped the day before his trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

Case study

Our client was a young man facing multiple rape and sexual assault allegations made by three different women. His parents were both headteachers and they supported him from the very beginning. He'd never been accused of anything criminal before and they knew their son. He was working in part-time jobs but he had the qualifications to embark on a career in engineering. This was something that had been put on hold whilst the case resolved, and not being able to move on with his life was stressful for him and his family.

The prosecution was negligent in carrying out their duties to disclose evidence throughout the case. They didn't want to serve download reports from the complainant's mobile phones, or share conversations that our client told us he had with the women on social media. The police had seized his devices so he didn't have access to the material himself. Analysing complainant's mobile phones is a somewhat sensitive topic and most police officers don't like doing it. However, we knew that our client's freedom depended on this material and we were not scared to do whatever it took to get this material.

After we instructed specialist IT experts, we were able to analyse the client's social media accounts ourselves and retrieve several conversations from Facebook. This cast serious doubt on the complainant's allegations. It also showed the complainants were colluding against our client, despite them claiming to not know each other very well. We served this material on the prosecution on the Friday before the trial was due to begin. We then showed the prosecution this evidence. They then reviewed the whole case and reconsidered their chances at trial. They dropped the case immediately. Not guilty verdicts for each of the ten allegations were duly entered by the Judge.

As a result of this ordeal ending in a positive way, our client was able to pursue his career in engineering, and get his life back with his reputation preserved.

After this case, West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service was criticised for their handling of the case. We were also offered the opportunity to report their failings by BBC journalists. However, our client decided against this and simply wanted to move on with his life.

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