A young man in England is breathing a sigh of relief after being acquitted of rape charges and he has the prosecutor and his accuser to thank for his freedom.
Liam Allan, 22, was charged with six counts of rape and six counts of sexual assault that was said to have occurred over 14 months, and faced a possible 10 years in prison, until a new prosecutor came on the case, The Times reported.
Allan had spent around two years on bail and three days in court when the case was suddenly stopped as near 40,000 text messages from his accuser were discovered being hidden by the police.
The discovery outraged prosecutor Jerry Hayes, who had just taken over the case, and the judge who called for an investigation at the “very highest level,” according to The Times.
In the texts, to both Allan and his friends, the accuser asks Allan for casual sex and describes rape and rough sex fantasies.
Upon reading the text messages Hayes apologized to Allan and said he wanted to offer no evidence against him in court.
“There was a terrible failure in disclosure which was inexcusable,” Hayes said. “There could have been a 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 officer in the case has not reviewed the disk, which is quite appalling.”
“The defence quickly saw the information 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 miscarriage of justice, which thank heavens was avoided,” he said.
Allan’s attorneys had sought access to the files containing the text messages, but police did not cooperate, telling the attorneys that nothing of interest was in the files.
Judge Peter Gower declared Allan innocent and offered a scathing chastising of the original prosecution.
“There is something that has gone wrong and it is a matter that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in my judgment should be considering at the very highest level,” Judge Gower said.
“Mr Allan leaves the courtroom an innocent man without a stain on his character.”
The decision brought relief to Allan who said he “felt completely isolated at every stage of the process.”
“I can’t explain the mental torture of the past two years,” Allan, a criminal justice student, said. “I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thing, the system I want to work in.”
Allan’s mother, Lorraine Allan, 46, blamed the “current climate” that has men treated as “guilty until you can prove you’re innocent.”
A London Metropolitan Police spokesman said that “We are aware of this case being dismissed from court and are carrying out an urgent assessment to establish the circumstances which led to this action being taken.
“We are working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and keeping in close contact with the victim while this process takes place.”
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