False Accusations Disproved

Matthew Scott has produced one of his most remarkable articles for the Barrister Blogger website. It centres around a man called Danny Day, who sincerely believed he had been abused by two firemen between the years 1976 – 1978.  He appeared to successfully prove his case in court, and the one still alive was sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment. Appalled by the leniency of the sentence, Mr Day appealed to the Attorney General, who increased it to 8 and a half years. It was case closed. But not quite.  In a remarkable turnaround of events it was later proven beyond doubt that Danny Day was either a fantasist or a committed liar. It was discovered that he had claimed that if not for the sexual abuse he had suffered he would have been able to participate in the 1984 Olympics. He had said he had a ‘better boxing record than Mohammed Ali’. It then followed that his medical records were perused and that – in the words of the judge –

“over a period from 2000 to 2010 the complainant in this case had to seek medical attention from his GP in relation to what can only be described as his being a chronic liar”.

The article begins:

Last Friday David Bryant, a 66 year old retired fireman with a distinguished record of brave public service was freed after spending 3 years in gaol for a crime that he did not commit. Yesterday his conviction was finally quashed.

His story is quite appalling, though not, I fear, in any way unique.

His accuser, unusually, has waived his right to anonymity so we know that he is a man called Danny Day. His accusation, which he first made in 2012, was that Mr Bryant and another fireman called Goodman (who is now dead) had raped him on some unspecified date between 1976 and 1978.

Mr Day explained how he came to make his accusation in an interview with the Sevenoaks Chronicle. He heard that Mr Bryant had become:

“Chief fire officer, a councillor and a freeman of the borough – a local celebrity practically. He had had a long and distinguished career and people looked up to him.

“The traumatic memories of the attack came flooding back, and [I] decided to ‘confront’ Bryant by posting a letter through his door.”

“All I wanted off him was an apology,” said Mr Day. “If he had said, ‘I’m sorry, I was misled’ that would have been fine.”

But when Mr Bryant complained to the police about the letter, Mr Day decided he now wanted more than an apology. He went to the police with his allegation.

To read more please visit: The shocking case of David Bryant reveals the fallacy that we can always spot a liar