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Anorak News | Student cleared of rape after police wrongly withheld evidence of his innocence

Student cleared of rape after police wrongly withheld evidence of his innocence

by | 15th, December 2017

Spare a few thoughts today for Liam Allan. Accused of the heinous crime of rape, 22-year-old Allan, a student at Greenwich University, protested his innocence. He spent two years on bail, the horror hanging over him. He’d be warned that if found guilty he could expect a ten-year prison sentence.

And, then, when the case came before the judge at Croydon Crown Court, after three days of debate Jerry Hayes, the prosecuting barrister, told the room: “I would like to apologise to Liam Allan. There was a terrible failure in disclosure which was inexcusable…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.”

The disc was a computer disc. On it were copies of 40,000 messages from the alleged victim’s telephone. Liam Allan’s lawyers never saw the disc until very late. Police told them there was no need to because the disc contained nothing of importance to the case for defence nor prosecution. But it did. A new prosecution barrister ordered police to hand over any telephone records before the trial began. On the disc were messages revealing that the woman had asked Mr Allan for “casual sex”. She told friends she enjoyed sex with Allan – she had told police she did not enjoy sex. She discussed her fantasies of being raped.

Julia Smart, part of Allan’s defence team, only received the details of the woman’s text messages the night before she was scheduled to cross-examine her. She spend the night reading them.

Mr Allan tells 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.” His mother, Lorraine Allan, added: “In the current climate, in these sorts of cases, you are guilty until you can prove you are innocent. The assumption is there is no smoke without fire.”

Ruling Allan innocent of all charges, Judge Peter Gower told one and all: “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,. 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… 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.”

Is there an agenda at play?

 



Posted: 15th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink