Rape Crime Disclosure: Latest

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has attacked moves to get rape victims to hand mobile phones to the police or risk prosecutions against their attackers not going ahead.

Mr Corbyn tweeted: “We need to do all we can to support victims of sexual violence to come forward and report cases to the police. With rape and sexual assaults already under-reported, this disturbing move risks letting more rapists get away with it.”

Change UK MP Anna Soubry has called for the withdrawal of a new document requesting victims, including those of rape, to hand over their mobile phones and other digital devices to the police.

Asking an urgent question on the issue in the Commons, Ms Soubry (Broxtowe) warned “it is going to deter victims of rape in particular from coming forward”.

She said: “It’s the way that you deal with these requests that’s critical, what you don’t do is issue a blanket demand for the handover of mobile phones and other digital devices, and then threaten to discontinue cases if a victim, especially a rape victim, then refuses to hand over those devices.”

She added: “Will he withdraw this document because it is going to deter victims of rape in particular from coming forward? Would he ensure that there is no blanket request to rape victims, or indeed any other victim, to hand over phones and other digital devices.”

Policing minister Nick Hurd’s own mobile sounded as he stood up to respond at the despatch box, prompting MPs to laugh as he joked: “Not now mother.”

On the wording, Mr Hurd said: “Now I’ve discussed this with the police, they see that as an actually reasonable statement of fact, but the language used in this is sensitive and (I’m) open to discussing with the police and others about how that may be improved.”

Police forces, he said, had been using forms to request victims’ consent to review mobile phones in investigations including sexual assault cases for some time.

He said: “What is new is a new national form that was introduced today which attempts to distil current best practice to replace the individual versions of the 43 forces, ensuring that there is consistency and clarity for complainants, that is the intention of the police.”

He said: “It is surely critical that victims are not deterred from seeking justice by a perception about how their personal information is handled, they can and should expect nothing less than it will be dealt with in a way that is consistent with both their right to privacy and with the interests of justice.”

He added: “The police have acknowledged that the use of personal data in criminal investigations is a source of anxiety and will continue to work with victim groups and the Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure that their approach to this issue offers the necessary, if difficult, balance between the requirement for reasonable lines of inquiry and the victims’ right to privacy.”

He added: “We will take a strong interest in this impact assessment of this document, it is not a blanket request.”

Whole life tariff for child killer and his 20 year campaign of sexual violence

A convicted child murderer has been told he will die in prison by a judge who described his “20-year campaign of rape and sexual assaults against children and women, fuelled by a sadistic desire to inflict pain for sexual gratification”.

John Taylor, 62, was serving a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 30 years following his abduction and murder of 16-year-old Leanne Tiernan in Leeds in 2000.

On Friday, Judge Robin Mairs listened to two hours of shocking details of other “vile, sadistic attacks” on five women and children committed by Taylor between 1977 and 1996, including one on a terrified seven-year-old girl and another which was witnessed by his pregnant victim’s three small children.

Taylor, who admitted a range of offences including multiple rapes at an earlier hearing, showed no emotion as Judge Mairs said he had no choice but to impose a life sentence with a whole life tariff, telling him there is “no doubt that you must be kept in prison for the rest of your life”.

Taylor appeared by video-link at Leeds Crown Court from Wakefield Prison, wearing a grey open-neck shirt and sporting greying hair.

The judge said Taylor’s offending included “vile, sadistic attacks on women and small children marked by ferocity and callousness”.

Judge Mairs heard how many of Taylor’s victims harboured feelings of guilt and anger about the murder of Leanne, wondering if she would be alive today if their case had been solved or if they had reported it earlier.

The court heard one victim said: “When I heard about Leanne Tiernan I felt guilty. I wondered what if I had reported sooner what Taylor did to me.”

Judge Mairs heard how one woman was seven years old when she was grabbed by Taylor in 1984, carried to a church yard and tied to a drain pipe before she was repeatedly sexually assaulted.

He later taunted her outside her home.

Judge Mairs said: “The trauma, fear and nightmares that would have engendered in that child are beyond comprehension.”

He said: “There’s a chilling echo to be found in what happened to (that girl) and what happened to Leanne Tiernan.”

Prosecutor Stephen Wood said that in 1982, Taylor held a knife to the throat of a 27-year-old woman who was walking with her son and daughters, who were all aged under eight, and demanded that she perform a sex act on him.

Taylor fled after her daughters, who feared they were about to see their mother murdered, screamed.

Another woman raped by Taylor explained how she felt “hatred and loathing” for police 20 years ago when she was told “to get on with my life and forget what happened to me”.

Mr Wood told the judge: “All these offences demonstrate the defendant’s long standing, violent and sadistic proclivities towards vulnerable women and female children.

“He became ever more emboldened over time before finally committing the murder of Leanne Tiernan.”

Leanne was snatched by Taylor in November 2000 and subjected to sexual assaults before he killed her.

Her body was found in woodland eight months later.

Police later discovered the body had been kept for some time in Taylor’s freezer at his home in the Bramley area of Leeds, where he was nicknamed The Pet Man.

The court heard how this was partly down to Taylor wanting to keep a trophy.

Taylor was jailed for life in 2002 with a minimum tariff of 25 years but this was later reduced to 20 years.

A year later, he was convicted of two further masked knifepoint rapes dating back to 1988 and 1989 and his minimum term was increased to 30 years.

Taylor’s decades of offending was pieced together following a cold case review called Operation Quayside, which involved West Yorkshire Police, the National Crime Agency and forensic services.

Speaking outside court, Detective Superintendent Jim Dunkerley, of West Yorkshire Police, described Taylor as a “monster”.

When asked whether there might be further victims of the murderer, he added: “John Taylor, as we have seen today, would be described as a monster. He has committed horrendous acts.

“I will continue to review all the undetected cases that we have, and John Taylor may feature in there, but I have to say that I have to look at it objectively and look at other offenders who may be within that case lodge.”

 

CCRC “Further investigation needed” in Ched Evans Rape Appeal Application

Ched Evans
Ched Evans

The panel assessing Ched Evans’ latest attempt to have his rape conviction overturned have said further investigation is needed before they can announce a decision.

A committee of three commissioners from the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) met on Tuesday to discuss the former Wales and Sheffield United footballer’s case.

They could have decided whether the conviction should be referred for appeal.

However, a CCRC spokeswoman said: “The Committee decided that further investigation was needed before it meets again to make a final decision on whether or not to refer Mr Evans’ conviction back to the Court of Appeal.”

No date has been fixed for the next meeting.

Once the committee has reached a provisional or final decision, it is typically several days or even weeks before the applicant and others are informed of the conclusion.

Evans applied for a review by the CCRC last year. The 26-year-old was released from prison last year after serving half of his five year sentence for the rape of a 19-year-old woman in a hotel in Rhyl in April 2012.

The footballer has always maintained his innocence. An earlier appeal against his conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012.

Evans has made attempts to restart his career but potential moves to Oldham Athletic and his former club Sheffield United collapsed in the face of public outcry.

Rapist has unduly lenient sentence increased

Matthew Whitmore
Matthew Whitmore

A man from Birmingham who raped a “very intoxicated” student as she made her way home after a night out has had his jail sentence increased by leading judges.

They announced at a hearing in London that a prisonsentence of four years imposed in the case of Mathew Whitmore, 25, of Small Heath, was “unduly lenient” – and raised it to six years.

Whitmore, who was jailed in June after pleading guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to an offence of rape, watched the Court of Appeal proceedings via video link from prison.

Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Jeremy Baker and Mr Justice Goss, said of his 19-year-old victim: “She was young, female, alone at night, and very intoxicated.”

The impact on her was “severe”. She was “paranoid” about going out alone, suffers panic attacks, and feels “tainted and robbed of her own choice, which was to save her virginity for her husband”.

After the hearing, Solicitor General Robert Buckland said in a statement: “This was an appalling attack where the completely innocent victim was steered to an isolated place and raped. Mathew Whitmore behaved atrociously.

“I asked the Court of Appeal to look at the sentence imposed in this case as I felt that four years’ imprisonment was just too low, given the offender’s total disregard for the victim’s well-being and the circumstances of this serious offence.”

He added: “I am pleased that the court found this sentence to be unduly lenient and imposed a higher term of six years’ imprisonment.

“Tackling rape and serious sexual assaults is a key priority for the criminal justice system and we will do all we can to support victims and assist in bringing serious offenders to the attention of the Court of Appeal.”

False rape claim woman jailed

Comfort Yinusa
Comfort Yinusa

A young woman who cried rape after a boozy night out was told she had “let down” genuine sex victims as she was jailed for eight months, having made a false report of rape outside an east London pub.
Tube worker Comfort Yinusa, 23, wasted more than 100 hours of police time after she dialled 999 at 5am on October 25 2013 to make the false report that she had been raped and sexually assaulted by two men outside a pub.
The men she accused were subjected to a “humiliating” ordeal, spending six weeks on bail and hours in police custody as a result.
The court heard how one of the men had felt “shocked, shame and stigma” after being falsely accused by Yinusa, who had a history of cocaine and alcohol abuse.
At an earlier hearing at the Old Bailey, Yinusa pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice ahead of her trial.
She wept in the dock as judge Peter Rook QC told her that despite her “genuine remorse” she must go to jail.
He told her: “Taking all the circumstances into account this matter is so serious that only a sentence of immediate prison is appropriate.
“You have let down genuine rape victims. Your actions have led to two innocent men being put through the humiliation of arrest and all the procedures that followed.”
Her actions had also led to the “wasting of precious police resources”, he said.
However, the judge noted that the rape claim was not part of a “long-term vendetta” against an intended victim and the Kingston University drop-out was now a different person.
The court heard how Yinusa was intoxicated when she accused the men of attacking her outside a pub near Liverpool Street station in the City.
She said she had left the Dollshouse club with them and made the allegation after phoning her boyfriend in distress and asking to be picked up.
Two police officers and an ambulance with two paramedics were sent to investigate and treat any injuries.
But detectives discovered CCTV footage at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant which showed Yinusa and her two alleged attackers laughing together.
Phone records also revealed one of the men was walking streets looking for his car when she claimed the alleged rape happened.
More than £3,000 was wasted on forensic inquiries until her arrest in December 2013.
Prosecutor Heather Stangoe said Yinusa refused to be medically examined the day after making the claim and failed to turn up for police interviews.
She later told detectives she did not want to go ahead with her complaint.
But in the meantime, one of the suspects had spent 14 hours and the other 16 hours in police custody.
The court heard that Yinusa, of Tilbury, had alcohol issues and used cocaine for three years before the incident.
Since then, the defendant, who was of previous good character, found a job working for London Underground helping members of the public.

False rape claim woman faces jail

A young woman could be facing jail after admitting making a false rape claim.

Comfort Yinusa, 23, pleaded guilty to a charge of perverting the course of justice when she appeared before the Old Bailey.

Between October 25 2013 and January 3 last year, she made a false allegation of rape to the police, according to the charge details.

Yinusa, who appeared close to tears during the hearing, was warned by judge Wendy Joseph she could be sent to prison for the offence.

The details of the case were not given by the prosecution and sentencing was adjourned until Monday, June 1.

Yinusa, of Coleridge Road, Tilbury in Essex, is on conditional bail.

Barrister savaged over rape blog

Barrister David Osborne
Barrister David Osborne

A barrister who criticised new legal guidelines about rape in a blog titled “She Was Gagging For It” has been condemned by campaigners who branded his views “alarming” and “deeply offensive” – but others have said these issues must available for debate.

David Osborne said men should walk free from rape trials if the victim says she was too drunk to give valid consent, and claimed “consent is consent”.

Mr Osborne, who was called to the criminal Bar in 1974 and has fought cases in the Court of Appeal, said he found it “distasteful and unattractive” that a victim cannot give consent when “blind drunk”.

Campaigners said his “deeply offensive” blog ignores current law around consent and plays up to old-fashioned stereotypes of rape victims.

The blog was posted in response to guidance issued to lawyers and police officers dealing with rape cases by Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, which spells out situations where possible victims might be unable to give consent to sex, including because of alcohol or drugs.

Mr Osborne wrote: “I have always found it distasteful and unattractive the suggestion that as the victim was blind drunk she was therefore unable to give her consent to sex, or more to the point, she gave her consent which she would not have given had she been sober.

“In my book, consent is consent, blind drunk or otherwise, and regret after the event cannot make it rape…

“I have a very simple solution which I hope you will agree is fair. If the complainant (I do not refer to her as the victim) was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, when she was ‘raped’, this provides the accused with a complete defence.

“End of story and a victory for fairness, moderation and common sense.”

Mark Leech editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners said however distasteful Mr Osborne’s views may be these are legitimate issues for debate.

Mr Leech said: “Personally I find his views offensive, they have no place in a modern society simply because consent can’t be any consent at all if you are incapable of knowing precisely what it is you are consenting to.

“But these issues must be debated, especially by tackling head on antiquated views like these, because the confusion surrounding the issue of consent in sex, as we saw with the recent Ched Evans rape case, can damage the lives, futures and livelihoods of victims and culprits alike.”

The rape guidelines issued last month advise officers and lawyers to ask how the suspect knew the complainant had consented to sex ”with full capacity and freedom to do so”.

Rape Crisis England and Wales spokeswoman Katie Russell said: “Through his unwillingness and inability to grasp the simple legal principle that consent must be freely and fully given by someone with the capacity to do so, he has merely illustrated the desperate ongoing need for measures to improve the criminal justice system for sexual violence survivors.

“On top of this, it is outrageous and depressing that someone practising law in the 21st century should be so unabashed about airing such baldly misogynistic and victim-blaming views.”

Mr Osborne also suggested that rape crimes would fall if girls “covered up”.

He told the Daily Mirror: “You’ve seen the news sequences of girls who, regardless of the weather, have their backsides sticking out of their dresses and their tits hanging out of the same dress.

“Wandering around the streets, staggering around and then wondering at the end of all that why somebody has, if you like, taken advantage of them.

“I tell you what would drop the rape statistics would be if girls covered up, dressed appropriately and stopped drinking themselves legless.”

Sarah Green, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said the thought the blog was a “sick joke”.

“This is a legal professional indulging in the oldest stereotypes about rape, probably for attention-seeking purposes, and appearing to condone the predatory behaviour of men who target vulnerable girls.

“I suggest he takes time to look at the impact of rape on survivors and how the situation is made worse by being told by people like David Osborne that it is their fault.

“We’ve moved beyond putting restrictions on women’s movement and behaviour. We need to talk about men not raping women, not women preventing rape.”

Cumbria Cop Charged With Rape

CUMBRIA_POLICE

A police detective from Barrow in Furness charged with rape and indecent assault has been committed to crown court.

Nicholas Doherty 41, from Barrow, appeared at Leamington Magistrates’ Court this morning.

Warwickshire police had charged Doherty with a rape that allegedly occurred in Stratford upon Avon on February 27, 2012 and an indecent assault which is alleged to have happened in Cumbria in December 1999.

The court confirmed that Doherty’s case had been committed to Warwick Crown Court, to sit at Leamington Spa, on July 15, 2014.

Doherty was given conditional bail. The police officer from Cumbria Police was arrested from his home address on Wednesday November 27 2013 by Warwickshire Police.

Warwickshire Police had said following questioning he was released on conditional police bail with strict conditions pending further enquiries by Warwickshire Police.

The charges were made yesterday 24 and Doherty was remanded before appearing at Leamington court today.

Cumbria Police confirmed that Doherty was suspended from duty when he was arrested on November 27 and remains suspended.

Warwickshire police are leading the investigation with support from Cumbria police.

Assistant Chief Constable Michelle Skeer said: “The Constabulary expects the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and conduct from all police officers at all times.

“We take any allegations of inappropriate behaviour from any of our officers very seriously to ensure our communities can have trust and confidence in us.

“I can reassure communities that we investigate any reports thoroughly and would encourage anyone with any concerns to contact Cumbria Police on 101 and ask the speak to the Professional Standards Department.”

Veteran Broadcaster In Court Charged With Rape

Stuart Hall allegations

Veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall has appeared in court charged with raping two girls.

Hall, 83, is currently serving a 30-month jail term for sexually abusing 13 victims, one as young as nine, over a period of nearly 20 years.

But after he was jailed earlier this year, the new allegations came to light and Hall was charged last month with more historic sexual offences.

Hall, wearing a white shirt, striped black and white tie and black suit, was brought from prison to stand in the dock at Preston Magistrates’ Court to face the charges.

During the brief hearing, Hall, flanked by two female prison guards, was asked to identify himself and replied, “I beg your pardon?” as he struggled to hear proceedings.

He gave his name as James Stuart Hall, and asked for his address, gave his home address as Prestbury Road, Wilmslow.

Hall listened as the fresh charges were outlined. No pleas were entered.

The latest claims relate to two alleged victims aged between 11 or 12 and 16 at the time.

He is alleged to have committed seven counts of rape against one girl between 1976 and 1978 in Manchester, when she was aged between 14 and 16.

Hall is also accused of eight counts of rape and one count of indecent assault against his second victim, aged between 11 or 12 and 15 at the time, between 1976 and 1981, at various locations in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

Hall was remanded into custody until November 29 for a further hearing at Preston Crown Court.

During the 12-minute hearing, District Judge Jane Goodwin reminded the dozen or so reporters in court that neither alleged victim in the case must be identified.

Joanne Cunliffe, prosecuting, asked the judge to send the case to the city’s Crown Court for the further hearing later this month.

“Mr Hall is serving a sentence at the moment in relation to other matters,” she said.

Lisa Judge, defending Hall, said the defendant was currently “incarcerated” and is not due to be released before next September.

District Judge Goodwin said the fresh allegations were “more serious” and told Hall he would be sent back to prison to appear at Preston Crown Court on November 29.

Hall was then handcuffed to one of the prison guards and taken back to the court cells for transfer back to jail.

The former It’s A Knockout presenter has been stripped of his OBE for broadcasting and charity in the wake of his conviction for sex offences against children.

Hall was initially given a 15-month prison term at Preston Crown Court, but the Court of Appeal ruled that the sentence was “inadequate” and it was doubled in July.

In April, he admitted 14 counts of indecent assault against girls aged between nine and 17 and a reporting ban on his pleas was lifted the following month.

He was a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century, and his eccentric and erudite football match summaries made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.

He also wrote a weekly sport column for the Radio Times until his arrest.

Prisoner ‘Disembowelled’ in Frankland Cell


Two inmates have been charged with murdering a convicted child rapist found “disembowelled” in his cell at an English prison.

Mitchell Harrison, 23, who had been jailed for the rape of a 13-year-old schoolgirl, was discovered dead in his cell Sunday 2nd October by staff at HM Prison Frankland in Durham, north-east England, Sky News reported.

He was convicted of child rape last year and given an indefinite prison sentence.

The Daily Mail reported that Harrison had been disembowelled by makeshift weapons, believed to be razor blades melted into toothbrush handles, apparently after boasting about his sickening crime. The newspaper said the two suspects turned themselves in to prison officials.

The alleged killers, aged 32 and 23, are due to appear in court tomorrow. A third man who was arrested by detectives is no longer being held in connection with the incident.

The cell where Harrison was found was cordoned off pending a full forensic examination.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chapman said, “we are carrying out a full investigation into the circumstances leading to this man’s death and are working closely with the prison service”