Jail might be merited here, don’t you think?

A woman who accused BT engineer of raping her claimed she sent text messages threatening to ‘ruin his life’ out of ‘anger’.

Other messages the women sent to 19-year-old Connor Fitzgerald read: ‘If I can’t have you, no-one can.’

The allegations meant the teenager spent three months on remand at HMP High Down in Banstead, Surrey.

Mr Fitzgerald, who lost his job as a BT engineer in south London, was only exonerated after the family handed prosecutors vital texts that helped to clear him.

Now, his accuser has admitted sending the texts to ‘ruin’ him.

‘I said I wanted to ‘ruin his life’ in anger because I couldn’t believe after being with me that he’d move on so quickly with someone else,’ she told the Sun Online.

False allegations should carry at least the punishment that he suffered, no?

And a legal question. If she’s charged – say with perversion of the course – then she loses that anonymity, doesn’t she? Or does she? My point being that men she might meet in the future have an interest in knowing that treating her in a less than gentlemanly manner might lead to three months in chokey. But we’re not going to get that anonymity as a basic rule dropped.

But, if charging with perversion causes the anonymity to fail already, then simply charging all false claims with perversion leads us to a useful end point – the abolition of anonymity for those who make such false claims. Well, to the extent that a claim of a false claim is true…..

26 comments on “Jail might be merited here, don’t you think?

  1. I believe that often a man might not know who his anonymous accuser is until it is too late to bring a charge

  2. The joint review by police and prosecutors found no evidence that the information was ‘deliberately’ withheld.

    Well they would, wouldn’t they?

    The “57,000” text messages thing is a red herring, unless all of them were between him and the woman. It is the ones between them which are important. Don’t tell me the police didn’t go searching these, or they don’t have software which can scan them and find the interesting bits, i.e. filter out the lols and emoticons. They knew what was there.

  3. I’m amazed at the lack of calls for a full public enquiry. We usually hear them when the canteen at Parliament has run out of bacon for breakfast, but for this…an enormous scandal of miscarriages of justice following speeches and calls from the DPP down for more rape prosecutions? Come on.

  4. I dare say m’Lud (if he’s around) can comment expertly on this but, yes, it strikes me that the woman should be sent for trial which I imagine would put an end to her anonymity.

    The police officers involved should be allowed to plead incompetence and then dismissed. If the plea is unconvincing they should follow the woman into the dock.

  5. What Ecks said.

    But of course we are all missing the essentially point here which is she is a victim too. In fact in some ways a bigger victim than him. He was only victimized in one court case while she has been and always will be a victim her entire life.

    So we should go easy on her.

  6. Mr Fitzgerald, who lost his job as a BT engineer in south London, was only exonerated after the family handed prosecutors vital texts that helped to clear him.

    Her family handed over the texts did they? That must have been a tough call. What *do* you do if you find evidence your daughter is a manipulative psychotic slut?

    Her family has integrity is all I can say. Either that or they are very stupid. The former would make explaining how the daughter turned out this way a little hard. But good for them.

  7. Her family handed over the texts did they? That must have been a tough call.

    His brother did:

    He was reprieved after Mr Fitzgerald’s brother found some of the text messages from the woman on his iCloud account and informed the authorities.

  8. ??? So how come he didn’t show them to the police himself?

    If he did and the police ignored them, then said police need to jailed also.

    Fishier and fishier.

  9. Police will have confiscated his phone, and said there was nothing ‘useful’ on it. By which they mean useful to them.

    The wider problem is not so much the disclosure of evidence useful to the defense as the failure to look for it, while claiming exclusive access.

  10. False allegations….yeah and when they are made online the evidence is there for eternity.

    I know of a case where the victim is clueless to whats been posted about him on blogs.

    You really couldn’t make it up how fucking stupid bloggers can be.

  11. “Don’t have sex with the mentally ill…”

    That will be the next prosecution argument. That although there are text messages indicating consent they don’t count as the deranged cannot give consent.

    Also a text message saying “thanks for the thoroughly pleasurable shag” don’t indicate consent, merely that the sex was enjoyed.

  12. Rob – “His brother did”

    Well I suppose of all the relatives, he is the most likely to do so. Because he is likely to be the one with the most empathy for the accused.

    But I mean, bloody hell, there’s a moral dilemma. Full marks to him for doing so, but would you? In theory, sure, but if it was actually your flesh and blood sister looking at jail time?

    Hector Drummond, Vile Novelist – “She may have lied, but isn’t she just raising awareness of an important issue? Fake but true? Give her a medal.”

    Which is pretty much the Guardian attitude I expect. And this is the result of the Guardian’s campaign to raise conviction rates. They have pressured and pressured the police and prosecutors to get results, but how were they supposed to do that when they were already trying to get convictions? Well railroad a few young men, obviously.

    The Guardian has blood on its hands for this.

  13. An engineer at 19? Impressive, the country of Brunell is still here.

    Or is he actually a fitter? Why would a telecomms engineer be in somebody’s home?

  14. @ SMFS

    The Graundian should be done for fraud by misrepresentation as they are selling what they falsely claim to be newspapers.

    @jgh

    See also journo’s employed at the Graundian.

  15. …but if it was actually your flesh and blood sister looking at jail time?

    I believe it said that it was his brother who provided the exculpatory evidence, not her’s. Much less of a moral quandary involved. Depending how they got on, of course.

  16. False claims of serious crime should carry a mandatory sentence which is twice the maximum that the accused faced. A few people should spend the rest of their lives rotting in jail for this kind of thing, as a warning to the rest.

  17. dcardno – “I believe it said that it was his brother who provided the exculpatory evidence, not her’s. Much less of a moral quandary involved. Depending how they got on, of course.”

    Ahhh. Well. Much less, then, indeed.

  18. False claims can either lead to no prosecution if the accuser could claim they were just mistaken and so weren’t actually lying, or can go the full perjury route if proven to be lying. The problem is in the later case, the CPS will argue that it’s not in the public interest.

  19. Whether or not it is in the public interest for these malicious claims to be prosecuted, it certainly isn’t in the CPS’ interest.

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