Britain’s rape prosecution is the worst in history, but influential lawyers have rejected calls to keep petitioners’ phones off limits


Rape has been convicted of the lowest in history, but one lawyer who acted as a defense in several rape cases says the man is still undergoing a “raw deal.”

A leading lawyer in northern England, unnamed, told The Epoch Times that “most of the rape defendants are men and have live trades.”

Women’s rights groups said that allowing lawyers to access the rape claimant’s phone is a privacy breach, and in May Information Commissioner Jon Edwards We asked for the end of the so-called “digital strip search”.

However, the lawyer told The Epoch Times, “What is the basis of the telephone, and if it is withheld, can the defendant get a fair trial?”

Last month, Shadow Justice Minister Erie Reeves accused the government of “blaming rape.”

This wasn’t the first time Reeves used this phrase.of March last year— When the High Court dismissed a legal objection to the Public Prosecutor’s Office (CPS) by the pressure group End Violence Against Women (EVAW), she said, “This is a disappointing result in support of effective rape decriminalization. That’s it. “

Epoch Times Photo
Ellie Reeves asked the Prime Minister’s question at the House of Commons in London on November 25, 2020. (Jessica Taylor / British Parliament / PA)

In 2021, police in England and Wales recorded 67,125 allegations of rape. This is the highest since the record began in 1856.

The number of reported rapes has risen “amazingly”

Barry Godfrey, a professor of social justice at the University of Liverpool, said the number of rapes has increased “amazingly” in recent years, he said. There is increasing motivation to report victims of rape. “

From 2020 to 2021, the number of prosecutions was only 1,557, down from 2,102 in the last 12 months.

Between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021, only 1.3% of alleged rape led to the indictment of the suspect.

This figure is compared to 7.1% of other recorded crimes. 81 percent of murders..

Godfrey has historically underreported and underestimated rape, telling the Epoch Times: I wouldn’t be surprised if the conviction rate in the UK has been below 2% for the last 200 years. “

Of the cases charged in England and Wales last year, 70% of the defendants were convicted of crime, which is Scotland There are three possible verdicts: guilty, not guilty, or unproven.

Godfrey said: The forensic evidence of strange rape is compelling, but the so-called “date rape” creates difficulties. Evidence that sex has taken place is not sufficient and it is difficult to prove a lack of consent. “

Rape prosecutions in England and Wales have fallen 70% since 2017.

CPS change of policy accused of lower prosecution rate

EVAW claims that this dip was caused by a change in policy.

In 2010, the director of the prosecutor’s office at that time Keir StarmerHe ordered a review of the rape case, now the leader of the Labor Party, and introduced a new “merit-based approach.”

Under that approach, prosecutors were told to judge the case solely on the “merits” of the evidence, rather than considering what percentage could lead to a conviction.

Phillippa Kaufmann QC spoke in EVAW’s position, telling the High Court last year that this meant “putting myths and stereotypes aside” about rape victims.

Guidance changed in 2016.

CPS has introduced new training and advised staff to move away from the “merit-based approach” to rape prosecution.

The focus was now on using traditional tests to see if the prosecution is at least 50 percent more likely to be convicted. This test was often measured against the success of previous cases with similar evidence weights.

The idea was to improve the conviction rate.

However, that has led to a significant reduction in prosecution.

Godfrey said: Therefore, due to the issue of evidence “he said / she said”, CPS would be risk averse about bringing proceedings to court that they believe would not be convicted. “

Epoch Times Photo
Soccer player Chedo Evans during a match at Preston North End’s Deepdale Ground in Preston, England, April 15, 2022. (Lewis Story / Getty Images)

Soccer player in October 2016 Ched Evans A retrial revealed that he was not guilty of rape, and in the next two years, three more men were acquitted in a major publicity — Liam Alan, Samsung Makele, When Isaac Itiary..

After the advent of computer discs containing 40,000 phone messages, Alain walked around freely, showing that the alleged victim had fantasized about rape and begged for “casual sex.”

In the case of Makele, his cell phone revealed an image of him hugging the alleged victim.

Itiary was accused of statutory rape because the victim was suspected to be 15 years old, but later received a text message proving that he had lied to him about being 19 years old.

Kat Araniello, a survivor of sexual violence campaigning on violence against women and girls, has a low prosecution rate for rape as CPS withdraws the proceedings rather than spending money to “lose” the trial. Said.

CPS “Lack of Courage to Make Jury Trials Decide”

Araniello, who was raped at Knife Point in 2017, told The Epoch Times: I’m blaming CPS. In my case, police officially challenged CPS’s decision to stop my case. They knew they could win it. However, the CPS at that time was scrutinized after Liam Alan, so I removed everything. The police really knew them, they were willing to go to court. “

Regarding the question that the rape petitioner is being cross-examined on the phone, Araniello said: “It’s completely irrelevant and inconsistent with other crime investigation methods. If I were robbed, I wouldn’t be investigated to this extent. This is a privacy breach and of third-party data. I think it’s also an infringement. “

Epoch Times Photo
At a press conference, Prosecutor’s Office Director Keir Starmer QC gave an overview of the new guidelines for suicide aid at the London Public Prosecutor’s Office on September 23, 2009. (DominicLipinski – WPA Pool / Getty Images)

However, the solicitor who spoke to The Epoch Times was accused of “in a strange situation” by one of her clients, named in the newspaper, branded as a rapist, and “predatory” on social media. He said he was acquitted by a jury only 20 years later. A few minutes after the important information was discovered on the mobile phone.

The lawyer said the man’s life was ruined and he was suspended from the college he attended and “it took two years to get his life back on track.”

She states: “Police have been told for years to call women victims and assume she is telling the truth. An edict has been sent that people should be called plaintiffs, not victims. It was, but it wasn’t filtered by the police. “

Lawyers said some of her clients had been released on bail for four years, awaiting a final billing decision from CPS.

“The file is passed from the police to the CPS. They will take years to review it because they are understaffed. Then they will give the police officer an action plan. [to obtain more evidence] And it will take another 13 months, then they will send it back to CPS and they will review it, “she said.

Criminal justice is “insufficient funds”

“The entire criminal justice system is underfunded, underfunded, left, right, and centered,” the lawyer said.

She states: I haven’t done much legal aid work lately. It is increasingly mothers and fathers who raid savings to pay personally if their son is accused. “

Ellie Reeves said last month that the government had made “pathetic progress” in prosecuting rape, but conservative former minister Andrea Leadsom said he was “frankly fed up” with Reeves’ allegations. .. system. “

CPS is strategy In 2020, “How to Realize Our Ambition to Narrow the Disparity between the Number of Crimes Reported to Police and Cases Appearing in Court”.

Prior to the strategy, Maxhill QC’s prosecutor’s office said, “It is underpinned by a commitment to ensure that the right person is prosecuted for the right crime.”

In April of this year Rape charges increased by 10 percent“We are determined to increase the number of rape cases in court, and while there is still a long way to go, we are encouraging that progress is beginning to be seen,” Hill said.

However, Godfrey said: Until CPS gates out more rape cases and reduces the likelihood of conviction to more than 90%, there is no practical way to increase the conviction rate. It will be devastating to victims, justice, and society. “

Chris Summers


Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a particular interest in crime, police and law, covering stories from a wide range of countries.