Kangs Solicitors have recently successfully defended a client charged with an allegation of a sexual offence committed in 1991.
Our client was charged in accordance with the law applicable in 1991 with one count of buggery contrary to section 12(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956.
The allegation, made by a former neighbour of our client who was fifteen years old at the time, was that, although she had been in a consensual relationship with our client, she was forced into the act that resulted in the charge.
Defending Historical Sex Cases
Historical allegations of this nature are notoriously difficult to defend, frequently involving a jury having to decide whether they believe the evidence of the complainant or the defendant given under oath during the course of the trial.
Evidential problems may occur where:
- the only other evidence available to the complainant is the reliability of the memory of someone to whom the complainant allegedly reported the offending behavior shortly after the event.
- whilst the complainant alleges to have a clear recollection, the defendant may not even recall having ever met the complainant.
- the possibility of the existence of any alibi evidence cannot be recalled or a possible alibi cannot be traced or has died
- whilst being interviewed at the police station, often other than a denial, there is little that the accused can say for lack of any recollection of the complainant or the alleged event. This is disadvantageous because, if the accused subsequently recollects something of significance by way of defence, an inference may drawn against them at trial for not mentioning the recalled detail at the interview.
Our Client’s Defence | Kangs Defence Team
Our client confirmed that he knew the complainant but only on the basis of her being a neighbour to whom he occasionally said ‘hello’ in passing.
He denied any sexual relationship with her and was totally bemused as to why she had made the allegation against him at all, especially after such an excessive passage of time.
Statutory Requirements | Kangs Advisory Solicitors
As stated above, the complainant alleged that she had been in a ‘consensual relationship’ with our client.
However, even if a ‘consensual relationship’ had existed, the giving of consent could not have been an issue, as under the law applicable at the time of the alleged incident, it was not legally possible to consent to buggery which, in itself, was an illegal act.
All the Prosecution had to prove was that the illegal act took place.
Whilst not relevant to our client’s defence, we would comment that the act of buggery is no longer a criminal offence and, in the event of a complaint, it would now be defined as rape under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Under that Act, consent would amount to a defence if the defendant reasonably believed that the complainant had consented.
Successful Case | Kangs Criminal Trial Solicitors
A very substantial amount of work was undertaken in the preparation of our client’s defence which was not facilitated by the extreme passage of time since the alleged offence.
At trial, our client’s position was rendered all the more difficult by virtue of the fact that, following police interview, he subsequently recalled knowing the claimant as a former neighbour with the result that he faced an inference being drawn against him, as explained above.
Despite the enormous pressure and obstacles faced by our client, the jury concluded, after little more than ten minutes deliberation, that he was totally innocent of the charge against him and he walked away from court a free man released from the burden of the unpalatable allegations made against him.
Historical Sex Allegations| How Can We Assist? | Kangs Criminal Solicitors
If faced with an historical sex allegation, expert assistance is needed from the outset.
It is essential that the solicitor who attends the interview has a sound experience in dealing with such allegations which are, invariably, fraught with difficulty.
At Kangs Solicitors we have a wealth of experience in dealing with such cases and our team has worked with high profile celebrity clients including involvement in the wide-ranging Metropolitan Police investigation Operation Yewtree.
Our Recent Cases | Defending Historical Sexual Abuse Cases
A recent selection of our work in this area is below:
- Client Cleared of Two Historic Rape Charges
- Client Not Guilty of Rape
- Client Not Guilty of Historic Sexual Abuse
- Client Acquitted of Sexual Assault Allegation
- Not Guilty Verdicts in Historic Sexual Abuse Case
- Two Clients Cleared of Sexual Abuse Charges
Who Can I Contact? | Kangs Solicitors
We are happy to provide clients with an initial free consultation to discuss what we can do to assist them.
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