More than 300 rape convictions will be reviewed after concerns about politically correct police being “hostile” to men and “deliberately” withholding evidence to send them to jail.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) said Wednesday they would sample 306 convictions, from April 2016 to March this year, which they had initially refused to refer to appeal.
The Metropolitan Police were slammed last year for failing to disclose key material before trials that could be useful to the defence or that could have outright proven the prosecution wrong.
Around a fifth of the 130 referrals sent by the CCRC to the Court of Appeal have turned on so-called non-disclosure, the body said.
With Alison Saunders in charge of public prosecutions, police had been encouraged to “automatically believe” all rape accusers, regardless of the evidence, in line with calls from radical feminists who believe the UK has a “rape culture”.
A former Director of Public Prosecutions said officers had become obsessed with the alleged victim and “hostile” to the accused, adding: “Failure to disclose evidence is a symptom of this contempt.”
The criticism came after two high-profile rape cases collapsed in quick succession shortly before going to court.
Isaac Itiary, 25, spent time in jail before he was declared innocent and Liam Allan, 22, was kept on bail for two years, with his education ruined.
Police Chief: ‘Automatic Belief’ of Rape Accusers Needs Review, Restore ‘Innocent Until Proven Guilty’ https://t.co/JR5uYeoTrS
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 21, 2017
In both instances, the police had failed to disclose text message evidence proving the young men were innocent. One woman had routinely lied about her age and the other admitted to enjoying her relations with the young student she accused.
Both men have had their identity made public and were dragged through the press, whilst their accusers remained protected by anonymity rules.
Another man had a rape conviction quashed at the end of last year after spending four years in jail because police did not investigate Facebook messages between him and his accuser.
Following the cases, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was accused of deliberately trying to drive up rape conviction rates and London police were forced to review all pending rape cases because of failures.
A dossier compiled by the Centre for Criminal Appeals, published this April, claimed some police had been taught to “deliberately” withhold evidence.
The CCRC said Wednesday that it “considers that it is equally important for any review of disclosure to consider…. cases that have resulted in convictions.
“For each case which is sampled the CCRC will consider its own previous approach… to the disclosure process in the prosecution in question.”
Man Jailed for Rape Four Years Ago Free After Judges View Facebook Messages https://t.co/QjNm2NDwVW
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 24, 2017