Do the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the barristers appointed to prosecute and defend those accused of historic allegations still follow due process? Has the central principle of English law – that the accused is innocent until found guilty – been abandoned? More and more people are coming forward with their own experiences saying that that is indeed the case. It appears that a systematic method for jailing people without even the slightest proof that any crimes have taken place seems to be in operation, unknown to the general public. Unknown, of course, until members of that self-same public – teachers, business professionals, even Members of Parliament – are themselves accused. It can quite reasonably be inferred there is now a pandemic of accusations occuring up and down the country in which false memory and false accusation play an integral part. The list of individuals who have been exonerated of these non-existent crimes increases on a month by month basis – Michael Le Vell, Paul Gambaccini, Ben Herman, Lord Bramall, and many others – is proof that something is going very wrong with our justice system.
On the website of The Justice Gap, an anonymous contributor has written an open letter to the Prime Minister. It is a disturbing indictment of their experience of the law. Permission has since been granted to us to print the letter in full ourselves.
An open letter to the Prime Minister
I wrote to you in May 2015 explaining the situation me and my whole family are in. We are all now vulnerable victims of your justice system that allows guilty verdicts on nonexistent crimes. We are all devastated at the way in which we have been treated by the police, CPS, legal aid lawyers, barristers and the judiciary.
We have been sacrificed. Our lives stolen and our whole family put into trauma.
The criminal courts, following the ruling of the House of Lords in DPP v P (1991) 2 AC 447, had come to accept multiple allegations as mutually corroborative, even when they were not ‘strikingly similar’. In 2002, the Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs issued an authoritative report which warned that the combination of this judgement and the lure of compensation was creating a ‘new breed’ of miscarriage of justice. Among the committee’s members who signed this report was a youthful Tory MP, David Cameron.
Prior to this horrific incident, we brought up our family to be kind, caring, human beings and to have morals and to trust in the police and justice system. We were so wrong. The first time me and my family ever needed the police to protect us, they completely destroyed us, without a second thought or care for the lifelong consequences.
Ours was a historical case, allegedly 11 years ago. This crime did not happen, it was totally fabricated. All fantasy. There was no corroborative evidence, as it did not happen. The police and CPS did not conduct a fair and thorough investigation.
I know this as I was present at all times and so was my stepson and the accuser’s sister. No one interviewed any one of us. All of us, key witnesses as we all know the truth. We were all present. The Merseyside Police were only interested in a conviction. It seems they are conviction chasers not truth chasers. When challenged about not interviewing key witnesses, they stated that they are guided by the CPS and the CPS did not require them to interview key witnesses. I would like to know why?
It seems the Appeal Courts require new evidence. Evidence that wasn’t available at the trial. Can you please advise me on how I do this? How do I get new evidence of a crime that did not happen 11 years ago? This is my task
Why would you want to convict, innocent, good living, honest people, for crimes that did not happen? There was no corroborative evidence, whatsoever. The words ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ have been removed. Are you aware of that? I wasn’t, neither were any of our family or friends. The general public are of the opinion that the words ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ are included in all trials. This is not true.
The accuser is called ‘the victim’ and is protected in court. Video links are used and coaching in being a witness is used. Your Secretary of State, Rt Honourable Theresa May’s culture of ‘you will be believed’ is being used in courts and juries therefore they presume guilt as they must believe the accuser. This is wrong. When the jury believes the accuser before the trial begins, is this not ‘presumption of guilt’ and against ECHR Article 6, everyone is entitled to a fair trial and must be Presumed Innocent.
We were given legal aid, the full cost of which I have now repaid, as I was threatened and bullied that a charge would be placed on my property if I did not make immediate payment. We used a legal aid barrister, who I now know is only required to do the bare minimum. The solicitor that we had was recommended to us by the police. He was the on call solicitor. We now know that he too, did not have the specialised experience required in these cases.
When these false allegations were made against my husband, the police created evidence by making a video of the accuser who was in distress for some reason, she was also on medication and there was no qualified doctor present. She just nodded her head. The police officer spoke the words and she just nodded. This was shown in court. We had not seen this video. We were only allowed a transcript. There was also a letter from her sister that was read out, which we were not aware of.
The few social reports that they had, were given to our barrister on the morning of the trial. We had not seen them, nor had time to investigate them or challenge them. I have since applied to the police for this video and letter so that I can get an expert to see if it is legal. The police won’t allow it without a court order from an appeal judge. Yet I can’t get an appeal judge to grant us a court order without finding some new evidence first. I feel that the police are hiding evidence that could help with an appeal. Why won’t the police help us?
How wrong were we?
Your justice system has destroyed our family. It has let us all down. We trusted your system. We brought our family up to believe in the police and the justice system. How wrong were we?
It seems the Appeal Courts require new evidence. Evidence that wasn’t available at the trial. Can you please advise me on how I do this? How do I get new evidence of a crime that did not happen 11 years ago? This is my task.
The appeal court is asking the impossible. Why is that? Is the justice system not there to find the truth? It seems not. I lodged a complaint with the police PS in Feb 2015. Their reply was that they are satisfied with the enquiry.
My innocent husband is now sitting in a cell, convicted of a crime that did not happen. Your justice system has destroyed our family. It has let us all down. We trusted your system. We brought our family up to believe in the police and the justice system. How wrong were we? Only the wealthy, those that can a afford the best defence lawyers and barristers have a chance of being found innocent in these cases. Defendants have no chance with inexperienced legal aid lawyers and barristers. Our defence lawyer did not bother to even attend Crown Court once. That’s how much effort he put into our case.
The barrister stated ‘the system let you down’ and then left us to rot.
In these historic sex abuse cases the burden of proof has for some reason been transferred to the defendant from the prosecutor. The accuser is called a victim and the defendant is now presumed guilty as the accuser must be believed. Surely these trials are unfair trials as ECHR state that everyone is entitled to a fair trial and must be presumed innocent. The Government make the laws, the judiciary follow your laws, which is why I am asking you for help.
You have recently made a statement ‘there’s an industry trying to profit from spurious claims’ and you intend to put a stop to it. I sincerely hope that you intend to include the historic sex crimes compensation industry in your mission. Please help us. That’s all we are asking. We don’t want revenge, we just want our family back. We are entitled to Justice too. We are not prepared to be sacrificed by a justice system that allows guilty verdicts on nonexistent crimes. There are thousands of innocent people sitting in cells. There are many others who will not come forward as they are terrified that the police will go out trawling for more false accusers, with their dangling carrot of compensation. Please do something about it. If you can’t sort this out, then who can?