You know something major went wrong when the Director of Public Prosecutions writes to a national newspaper apologising for a prosecution failure in a specific case. However, it may be considered a huge pity that she opted to write to a newspaper rather than the actual person wrongfully accused of rape.
Anyway, what went wrong in Liam Allan’s case?
Mr. Allan was accused of rape and sexual assault on many occasions. This would have been a classic and difficult case for any jury in many ways.
On one one, the complainant claims she was the victim of a terrible sexual crime, while on the other hand, a young male claims it was all consensual.
Because most sexual encounters take place in secret, we frequently meet situations when one term is used against another. Is it possible to have smoke without fire?
But what if the secret to solving this case was right in front of everyone’s eyes, and all they had to do was do their job? That was the situation in this instance.
Following the alleged incident, the complainant wrote Mr Allan a series of text messages requesting more sex. In fact, she expressed a desire for violent sex and stated that she wanted to be raped. She made it plain to a friend in another series of texting that no crime had been committed.
This is the kind of evidence that would sink a case below the water line and put a stop to a prosecution, which is exactly what happened. But only after a two-year period. Mr Allan has been in a ‘living nightmare’ for the past two years.
In this scenario, the tragedy is that it could have been averted.
In his police interrogation, Mr. Allan brought up the topic of text messages, but he was ignored. The officer in charge of the case disregarded clear disclosure standards and failed to bring them to the attention of the prosecuting lawyer.
It was only three days into the trial that a late intervention revealed what the police had known all along: Mr Allan was innocent. So, in the end, everything works out.
Mr. Allan’s scars from that time period will take a long time to heal.
We wish we could tell you that Mr. Allan’s case is unique, but we are unable to do so. For decades, disclosure has been a flaw in criminal justice, as evidenced by dozens of high-profile miscarriage of justice instances.
We know that these cases are just the top of the iceberg, and that the liberty of people on trial is jeopardised every day as a result of disclosure failures.
We are fully aware of the problem, and our entire team is working nonstop to uncover any pertinent evidence.
We don’t stop until we’re convinced that our clients’ cases are prepared to the highest of standards, from the initial police disclosure to trial applications.
Please call us right away if you have any questions about crime.
How can we help?
We ensure we keep up to date with any changes in legislation and case law so that we are always best placed to advise you properly. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact our team of criminal defence specialists on: 01376 511819