More than a coincidence?

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I recently said to somebody that I believe I have learnt more after leaving school than whilst I was there. I can now equally say that I have learnt more about the ‘system’ after having the shit kicked out of me by it.

For all of you who have been following my blogs you will now know that I am highly critical of the police and the legal system when it comes to the status and protection of male domestic abuse victims. I suppose I can also suggest that it also fails our sister victims too.

To recap

I have had to deal with the police, social services and recently the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and to date the following has resulted;

  • Social services – I have been successful in obtaining the sacking of one social worker and have also gained two separate letters of apology from two county councils.
  • The police – As expected they failed to address their own failings and saw fit to blame the CPS. As a result I have raised my complaint higher now naming a specific inspector citing professional misconduct and failure to follow the principles of their own code of practice (of which I obtained from the CPS).
  • The Crown Prosecution Service – Following my complaint to them about the unequal processing of the law I received a very informative letter highlighting how the make a decision based on the same code of practice that the police adopt. However, they also wished to pass the buck and took it upon themselves to blame the police. This of course is now an ongoing complaint. I have taken the liberty to use their own principles to identify their own failings.

So how does this fit with the title of this blog?

Well, for all you regular news followers you may be aware of the recent case of Liam Allen (22). For my American and other nation followers of whom may not be aware of this case, I wish to furnish you with the details.

Liam Allen

Liam Allan, 22, was on bail for almost two years and spent three days at Croydon Crown Court in the dock before his trial was.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression More than a coincidence?
Liam Allen

It is fair to admit that my case pales in comparison to Liam Allan’s case on the level of potential outcome and seriousness of the case. However, it took a judge to identify the institutional failure of a system that was created to protect the public

Mr Allen was wrongly charged with rape and ‘dragged through hell’ for two years due to a police blunder.

Liam Allan’s trial was eventually thrown out of court after lawyers discovered his alleged victim texted him suggesting she wanted to have more sex after the alleged attack.

How does the police action make any form of sense?

It transpires that the texts related to this case had been held by police and should have been made available to both the defence and the prosecution teams almost two years ago but were not due to (and I quote here directly from the judge) ‘sheer incompetence.’

Mr Allan’s lawyer further stated that ‘[Mr Allen] should never have been charged and was needlessly put through two years of turmoil.’

Food for thought – Not fit for purpose

Mr Allen, after his acquittal publicly stated a number of key factors but a key quote was certainly food for thought;

‘It’s made me realise that something needs to change. There are things that go on behind closed doors that you can’t even imagine and that a lot of people are probably going through the same sort of thing.’

In essence, I am sure we can all agree on the fact that the present system is not fit for purpose when it can fail at so many levels.

Police incompetence

The prosecutor (yes that’s right, the lawyer who was employed to attempt to prove Mr Allen’s guilt) stated that; ‘Sheer incompetence’ by police meant that texts about his alleged victim’s fantasies of violent and casual sex were kept secret.

The prosecutor also highlighted the fact that ‘the defence quickly saw the information (held on a police file) [that] blew the prosecution out of the water. If they had not been seen this boy faced 12 years in prison and on the sex offenders’ register for life with little chance of appeal. This was a massive massive miscarriage of justice, which thank heavens was avoided’.

The police attempted to defend this approach by claiming that the ‘sexual messages sent by the woman to Liam Allan and her friends were ‘too personal’ to share’ (!!!!???)

So what is this telling us? It is telling people like you and I that the police cherry pick their evidence to support a positive outcome for themselves (not in the true spirit of public interest is it?)

CPS – Can’t Process Shit

The CPS is also being asked to explain why it did not demand full disclosure of evidence including phone records before the trial started.

The texts revealed the woman asked Mr Allan for casual sex and fantasised about rough and violent intercourse and even being raped despite telling police she didn’t like being intimate with men.

It eventually took Judge Peter Gower to stop the trial. Judge Gower was also quick to note that   [having this] hanging over his head for years… could have had his life totally trashed. That was awfully wrong’.

S0…

It is, therefore, clear to state that Liam Allen had been betrayed by the system. And it still stands in this country (contrary to false belief) that people are treated as ‘guilty until they can prove they are innocent’.

Chief prosecutor Alison Saunders had made a high profile push to bring more sex attack cases to court and asked her lawyers to trawl through a man’s relationship history to boost conviction. As a result, the number of rapes reported to police has gone from around 13,000 in 2002 to 45,000 last year but in 2014 it emerged a quarter of sex offences – including rape – were never recorded as crimes.

Britain’s top prosecutor Alison Saunders was recently accused of inflating rape conviction figures and having little idea of how rape trials work.

Ms Saunders has repeatedly come under fire over the CPS handling of sex allegations because innocent men have had their lives destroyed on the basis of spurious claims later rejected in court.

In August this year (2017) she said that men accused of rape will have more of their relationship history put under the microscope during trials in a bid to increase convictions rates.

As a result Ms Saunders was warned that the hugely inflated figures in a report on violence against women were ‘misleading’.

Death throws – a public concern

This is a criminal justice system which is not just creaking, it’s about to croak’.

I am sure that every person reading this blog would agree that any form of sex crime is abhorrent. Yet if we are now aware that the police and CPS are getting it so wrong a jury will automatically have ‘reasonable doubt’ before the trial begins. This is a concern that as a result of this the real criminals will assume acquittal based on the fact that the evidence out before them may not be honest enough to secure any form of truth.

(Mis)Handling of vital evidence

So, let us analyse this event more closely. Police officers failed to hand over evidence proving Liam Allan’s innocence.

This evidence included a computer disk containing copies of 40,000 messages – including ones sent to Mr Allan by the woman pestering him for sex both before and after the accusation of rape

The woman had told police she didn’t enjoy sex and the lead detective has been accused of failing to review her texts.

Mr Allan’s lawyers were denied access to the woman’s telephone records after police insisted there was nothing of interest for the defence or prosecution.

Meanwhile, when Jerry Hayes took over the case on the day before the trial started – he demanded police hand over the phone records.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression More than a coincidence?
Jerry Hayes

A computer disk containing copies of 40,000 messages were taken from the handset, revealing that the woman had continuously pestered the undergraduate for ‘casual sex’.

She also told her friends that she enjoyed sex with him and even spoke about her fantasies of having violent sex and being raped by him.

As a result of the collapse of the trial the judge called for an inquiry at the ‘very highest level’ of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and a review of disclosure of evidence by the Metropolitan Police.

As we are now aware, Judge Peter Gower found him not guilty and set him free. But within the judge’s summing up he further stated that;

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression More than a coincidence?
Judge Peter Gower

‘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’.

Cost v Value of truth

The judge further heard that documents were not always sent to defence lawyers in order to keep costs at a minimum. What!!! So, money comes before the damage to innocent people’s lives? It is now clear that this is the case – and now undoubtedly seems to have been the case for perhaps generations.

Code of Practice

A spokesman for the CPS said: ‘A charge can only be brought if a prosecutor is satisfied that both stages of the Full Code test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors are met, that is, that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is required in the public interest.

‘All prosecutions are kept under continuous review and prosecutors are required to take account of any change in circumstances as the case develops.

As my regular blog followers will have already noted I have raised the fact that they don’t follow their own Code of Practice at any level. http://www.keithsstory.co.uk/code/

My view

Rightly or wrongly, I would like to think that it is better for a real criminal being found not guilty and set free, rather than an innocent person being punished for a crime that never actually happened.

As stated any potential jury members in the future will not hold an automatic response of ‘reasonable doubt’ both before, during and after the court case has been heard.

Furthermore, this has galvanised any public mistrust of both the police and the CPS.

I am sure that at some point the police will be told to say;

“Anything you say or do will be written down in pencil and rubbed out at a later date to suit our own purpose”

Is not the rule of law the principle behind a civilised society? Yet the law and all of those set to operate and work within it, is now seen as uncivilised.

4 Replies to “More than a coincidence?”

  1. Hi Keith, I saw and heard this story yesterday and thought about our own plights and the similarities. When I was in custody being interviewed similar points came up of accusations and I suggested that they obtained my mobile that was in their possession and would vindicate me immediately. As you can guess, they refused and continued with the finger pointing on hearsay accusations. Like you I will be picking up my official complaint with the CPS and Police after my acquittal next week. Any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated The pencil and rubber comment describe our situations perfectly. Best regards, Graham

  2. Hello Graham
    Again our experiences have crossed. Before it all kicked off I offered evidence for the police to consider, but they chose not to. When questioned by the police they refused to look at it and now they refuse to accept any responsibility or acknowledgement of it.
    I just don’t get how they can persistently agree to wash their hands of evidence when it is offered on a plate to them. What kind of agenda do they work on because it can’t be considered either lawful or even legal within the principle of equality in the eyes of the law.
    How can we bring up our children to respect those in authority when the authorities cannot protect our rights as human beings. Alas, Graham I fear that nothing will change because the staus quo works better for the authorities than us minions.
    From my experience together with your and now reading Liam Allan’s case we are after all, expendable.
    Best wishes
    Keith

    1. Thanks for the reply. How odd, I supplied police with evidence and mine was ignored also. Luckily I obtained a receipt when I handed it in. Based on my interview I supplied revelant evidence to what was in question. No reponse or second interview to discuss the contents and when I was finally charged a complete list of new charges that were ten times worse and not even discussed in the one and only interview I had. My barrister said to go home and get on with your life and just put it behind you! I don’t remember saying no worries, and thanks for you help, sorry for questioning my innocence!

  3. Hello Graham.
    I now think it is a point of principle. So many people have told me I should move on from it and put it down to experience. But in this case the principle is the lack of decency and equality in law.
    Although I was acquitted there are many other out there or others yet to experience this in due time that need to be heard and protected from the immorality of it all.
    I consider the legal system in this country to be an utter arse that is run by incompetent and short sighted people who are not fit for purpose.
    I was, like so many others, brought up to believe that if you live a decent life you can be expected to be protected by a law that has taken centuries to develop and evolve. Yet, we barely need to scratch below the surface to see the ugly truth for ourselves.

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