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Anorak | Rape victim jailed for retracting allegation under pressure from rapist

Rape victim jailed for retracting allegation under pressure from rapist

by | 13th, March 2012

READY to feel angry? Meet Sarah from Powys, Wales. The Court of Appeal says the criminal conviction against Sarah – who falsely retracted a rape claim against her violent husband – stands. The woman is mother to four young children. Sarah is 29.

She says she retracted the claims of having been raped by her husband on six occasion because he had been pressuring her. The Crown’s brief, Alison Levitt QC, has said the State “unreservedly accepts the factual background to this case. It’s plain that [the woman] was subjected to a lengthy period of domestic violence and it’s implicit in the plea that she was the victim of rape.”

The husband had also forced Sarah to work in a brothel.

In November 2010, Sarah was sentenced to eight months prison for perverting the course, a crime she admitted to. She served 18 says inside. She was then given a community sentence and a two-year supervision order.

When she retracted the claim of rape she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

David Malone, on Sarah’s legal team, tells the Guardian:

“This was not a case in which justice was done or seen to be done. The law simply cannot tolerate a situation whereby such an injustice is maintained because of perceived constraints in the current legal framework. Clearly the law must accommodate justice being done in this case or it should be changed.”

In December 2011, Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions, said:

“There have been cases recently where … I do not consider justice was done or was seen to be done. Apologies and legal explanations offer scant comfort to a victim and the public are rightly reluctant to place their trust in public authorities unwilling to accept their failings. We need to work on our approach in retraction cases. From now on, my approval for charging will be needed in these cases and we will monitor them closely. If the victim has decided to withdraw a rape allegation, we must explore the issues behind that, particularly if the victim is under pressure or frightened.”

Levitt adds that the CPS conceded that “if we were looking at this case today on the facts that we now have, in the light of the policy that we have now developed, it’s unlikely that [the woman] would have been prosecuted.”

Disgusting. Shame on all those involved in prosecuting this woman…



Posted: 13th, March 2012 | In: Reviews Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink