The Crown Prosecution Service took over the criminal proceedings, but Ms de Freitas was found dead on April 7 last year, three days before the start of her trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Her death triggered an outcry from anti-rape campaigners, but the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders defended the prosecution.

Following an internal investigation, she said: “The evidence was strong and having considered it in light of all of our knowledge and guidance on prosecuting sexual offences and allegedly false rape claims, it is clear there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for perverting the course of justice.

“This was evidence including text messages and CCTV footage that directly contradicted the account Ms de Freitas gave to the police. I am satisfied that the decision-making in this case was correct.”

80 thoughts on “Hmm”

  1. I don’t like this idea of the CPS being able to step in and take over a private prosecution. If someone is privately pursuing someone like this, investing their own resources, it seems the CPS can come in, take over and if they wish just quietly stop the prosecution or do a bad job of it. Leaving the victim out of pocket and not getting a shot at the justice they believe they are due.

  2. According to the ‘Indy’, the father is considering suing the CPS! I can only hope he slips up and says something that makes the accused go after him too…

  3. BiL, it would be an even sorrier tale if she hadn’t picked on someone capable of (and willing to) self-defence in the form of a private prosecution.

    One can only imagine how many lives these women ruin.

  4. “If even a fanatic like Saunders is convinced (for once)…”

    It is not so much that Julia–this is one where the evidence is so strong she can’t get around it. I doubt that she has much concern for the falsely accused male.

  5. Dongguan John,

    The CPS can’t forcefully take it over; but they must have offered to do so, and the claimant agreed. After all, it spares him the expense.

  6. I wonder how many men kill themselves awaiting trial for a rape they didn’t commit?

    Noting that this doesn’t mean that the rape didn’t happen – just that the wrong man has been accused. Something which I suspect is rather more common than the “anti-rape campaigners” would admit.

  7. Obviously, one feels very sorry for the late Miss De Freitas and for her family.

    But putting that to one side, in the abstract this is a wonderful story. It is a reminder to people raised in a Welfare State that gives you pretty much everything you need in return for nothing whatsoever that sometimes your actions have consequences.

  8. JuliaM reads the BBC article the same way I do, stopping just short of repeating the allegations against the man. Nit nice at all.

    However, those on the wilder shores of this log could take note (but won’t) that this is the same CPS they have been accusing of an anti – male bias, hounding ‘victims’ such as Stuart Hall and Rolf Harris.

  9. But there is evidence from a previous pattern of behaviour that the kangaroo consented to being tied down.

  10. So Much for Subtlety

    Ms de Freitas’ solicitors asked the CPS to halt the private action but instead the CPS decided to take it over and continue it.

    So it looks like they figured out it might work and wanted to make sure she got off with a token punishment. They can’t stop it, but they can take it over and strike a plea bargain. She should have waited.

    Ironman – “However, those on the wilder shores of this log could take note (but won’t) that this is the same CPS they have been accusing of an anti – male bias, hounding ‘victims’ such as Stuart Hall and Rolf Harris.”

    Those visiting from CiF need to keep in mind one swallow does not a summer make. Not that it is evidence the CPS does not have an insanely strong anti-male bias. There is no evidence the CPS was serious about punishing the girl.

  11. The CPS can’t forcefully take it over

    Not according to ‘Door wide open’ to gender abortion as CPS blocks prosecution of doctors, campaigners claim from the paleshadowofitsformerselfograph a few days ago.

    “Although almost all criminal cases in England and Wales are brought to court by the CPS, any individual or group with evidence that a crime has been committed can present evidence to a court to initiate a private prosecution.
    In most cases the CPS then steps in, either taking on the task of pursuing the prosecution itself or formally dropping it.
    In this case the two doctors formally requested that the CPS taken the case over specifically to stop the prosecution. Judges have no powers to stop this happening.”

  12. The alleged offence took place in December 2012; the lady died in April 2014, supposedly from the stress of the case hanging over her. If the judicial system were faster, such that she spent less time under stress, she might well be alive today. Our justice system is the last unreformed government service.

  13. Oops, you’re right:

    “the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has power under section 6(2) of the Prosecution of Offences Act to take over private prosecutions;”

  14. Interested
    On the contrary, it’s a very unedifying tale. Everyone (especially Society) is to blame apart from the criminal herself and her family. You expect this sort of irresposibility from the great unwashed but not from the 1 percenters.

    Andrew M
    More probably it was the defence that caused the delay. By the time the case was launched the prosecution evidence was all in.

  15. Surreptitious Evil

    We could play thay game all day if we wished: how many guilty rapists have killed themselves before thweir case came to trial? How many fraudsters? Many many innocent men accused of fraud?

    I’ll start by positing that more guilty people kill themselves pre – trial than innocent.

  16. From the BBC piece:

    He said: “She had been receiving counselling for rape. But she was denied access to counselling from the moment she received summons (for perverting the course of justice).”

    I seriously doubt that that’s true. What will have happened is that she was no longer being given free rape counselling paid for by the taxpayer. I am certain there are plenty of rape counsellors who work in return for money and that plenty of them don’t insist that the money has to come from the state.

    It’s interesting to see that the psychology of welfare dependency has apparently taken hold amongst the rich.

  17. Andrew M: “If the judicial system were faster, such that she spent less time under stress, she might well be alive today.”

    Any stress caused she brought on herself.

  18. SMFS,

    > There is no evidence the CPS was serious about punishing the girl.

    Apart from, you know, the prosecution.

    Your belief that the CPS wouldn’t have punished her, no matter how fervently you cling to it, is not, in any sense of the word, evidence.

  19. SQ2:“I seriously doubt that that’s true. What will have happened is that she was no longer being given free rape counselling paid for by the taxpayer.”

    All the papers say is that ‘she had been receiving counselling for rape, which was stopped when private prosecution proceedings were started against her. ‘

    I wonder if that was around restrictions placed by the courts on accused persons, rather than a money thing? Maybe they couldn’t have gone private?

  20. @BIF I must confess my sarcasm detector is twitching, but in case you’re serious I don’t accept any responsibility for this woman’s actions.

    (I suppose I ought to leaven my original comment with a sprinkling of acceptance that she might have been plain old nuts, mind you.)

  21. Bloke in North Dorset

    SMFS,

    “There is no evidence the CPS was serious about punishing the girl.”

    Its the CPS job to lay out the evidence and, if found guilty, the judge to determine the appropriate punishment within the parameters set by Parliament.

    Maybe the CPS could have brought a lesser charge or dropped hints that they didn’t want the top end of the available punishments, but it will be a sad day when the CPS decides punishment.

  22. From the DPP’s statement on the decision from last year:

    I have separately met with Ms de Freitas’ father, David de Freitas, to explain in more detail our decision and the evidence informing it, much of which is personal and sensitive and therefore inappropriate for the CPS to make public.

    The DPP has told David de Freitas that the CPS will not release details of the case out of decency to him and his wife. Worth noting when he publicly demands answers from them.

  23. I’m not aware that the father of a person facing criminal charges can demand answers from the CPS.

    If that system does obtain, they’re going to need to employ another 100,000 in-house lawyers.

  24. So Much for Subtlety

    Squander Two – “Apart from, you know, the prosecution.”

    Apart, as you say, from the prosecution. Which was not exactly at the top of their list of priorities was it?

    “Your belief that the CPS wouldn’t have punished her, no matter how fervently you cling to it, is not, in any sense of the word, evidence.”

    I do not cling to it fervently. It is odd that you need to demean instead of argue. But then maybe it is not so odd. I have never claimed I had evidence. What is more I was merely objecting to Ironman’s equally evidence-free claim that they were intent on punishing the girl. Odd you do not protest that.

    I would claim the CPS has a track record. They do not have a track record for going after girls for falsely claim they were raped. I think the balance of probabilities is on my side. Which is about as much as we can expect unless they release their e-mails or you develop telepathy.

  25. They prosecute roughly 20 women a year for it. They need to have evidence and, just as it’s sometimes hard to prove a rape, it’s sometimes hard to prove a malicious allegation.

  26. So Much for Subtlety

    Bloke in North Dorset – “Its the CPS job to lay out the evidence and, if found guilty, the judge to determine the appropriate punishment within the parameters set by Parliament.”

    It is also the CPS’s job to try to avoid wasting the court’s time by striking plea agreements. In France those tend to be tightly regulated. In America they are hardly regulated at all. We are somewhere in between. If the CPS decides it does not want to go to Court and offers a deal, the judge can theoretically strike it down. Doesn’t happen a lot.

  27. Bloke in Lincoln – Yes, that BBC article is vile. They did everything but headline it with ‘SWEET, INNOCENT RAPE VICTIM DRIVEN TO DEATH BY EVIL RAPE CULTURE’

    JuliaM – One can only imagine how many lives these women ruin.

    Yes, this is a rare case of a biter bit. In most false rape allegations the accused would either be banged up in jail, or the prosecution would peter out through lack of evidence but the man would be branded a “rapist” for the rest of his life.

    Mr Ecks – I doubt that she has much concern for the falsely accused male.

    Not sure about Alison Saunders personally, but the CPS as a whole was thoroughly New Laboured back in the 90’s, and has yet to be detoxified.

    So yes, the idea being spread about by feminist groups like “Women Against Rape” (are there any women for rape?) that the CPS is an evil heteropatriarchal tool of oppression that gleefully drives ‘rape survivors’ to jail or suicide is cuckoo bananas.

  28. Julia,

    > I wonder if that was around restrictions placed by the courts on accused persons, rather than a money thing? Maybe they couldn’t have gone private?

    That seems odd. If you’re facing prosecution, can you still go to AA meetings? Anyway, she was still seeing her psychologist, so it seems she was allowed to talk to professionals about her case. Hey, the whole reason for the case in the first place was that no-one could stop her talking about it.

  29. bloke (not) in spain

    “I am certain there are plenty of rape counsellors who work in return for money and that plenty of them don’t insist that the money has to come from the state.”

    Having known one, I shouldn’t think there’s even be a pre-condition of having been raped. The discovery of having been so, being part of the counseling process.

  30. SMFS,

    > Apart, as you say, from the prosecution. Which was not exactly at the top of their list of priorities was it?

    I’m pretty sure that there are thousands of people in prison right now whose prosecutions weren’t the CPS’s top priorities at the time. People got done for shoplifting while Lee Rigsby’s killers were on trial. So?

    > I would claim the CPS has a track record. They do not have a track record for going after girls for falsely claim they were raped.

    Rape cases are almost always a matter of one person’s word against another’s. That is why, no matter how much it pisses off feminists, it is absolutely right that the conviction rate is as low as it is. But the problem obviously cuts both ways. In most cases, we have no way of knowing whether the claim is false or merely unprovable. If it is true but unprovable, it is right that we not punish the accused, but it does not follow from that that we must prosecute the accuser. The CPS’s track record is a simple function of reality, no motive required.

    In this case, for once, the claim was provably false. That’s very rare.

    > I think the balance of probabilities is on my side.

    Probability is a tool used to make guesses when you don’t have data. In this case, we have the data — evidence that was far more concrete and damning than is usual in such cases — so we don’t need probability.

  31. SQ2: “That seems odd. If you’re facing prosecution, can you still go to AA meetings? “

    I’m sure I’ve seen a whinge from rape activists about pending trial halting victim support in some way, with ‘legal issues’ being blamed but I can’t recall where or when.

  32. Also worth bearing in mind, for all you people complaining that you just know that the CPS would have let her off with a slap on the wrist, that, even if you’re right, this is what Alexander Economou said:

    ‘All I ever wanted to do was protect my reputation and prove beyond reasonable doubt that I did not commit such a heinous crime. I wanted a single piece of paper from the court to show that she had lied. I was not being malicious or vindictive. I gave her every opportunity to recant before going ahead.’

    ‘I would have been happy if she had just been reprimanded.’

    Since that was the purpose of the private prosecution according to the man bringing it, why exactly would the CPS have taken it over in order to ensure a lesser punishment? Lesser than what?

  33. As for the delays in prosecution complained of above, she made the complaint in “early 2013” and the trial before which she killed herself was April 2014.

    In the meantime there was an investigation into the alleged rape, the accused gathering what sounds like quite a lot of evidence, the start of the private prosecution, attempts by her to get the CPS to block the private prosecution, the CPS investigating and deciding instead to take it over as a public prosecution, then an attempt by her in a court hearing in November 2013 to get the prosecution stopped on the grounds that she was mentally unfit to stand trial.

    Just over a year doesn’t sound too bad for all that, and the delays seem to have been caused mostly by her attempts to stop it ever getting to court.

  34. We could play thay game all day if we wished

    We at least admit that there is a game that can be played. Anti-rape campaigners, if they did so, would probably score this as a 0-2 loss for the home side.

    An obvious rapist goes free and an obviously raped woman kills herself.

  35. “she might have been plain old nuts”: it sounds all too possible.
    “tantric massage services”: oh dear, oh dear.

  36. “Apart, as you say, from the prosecution. Which was not exactly at the top of their list of priorities was it?”
    “I would claim the CPS has a track record. They do not have a track record for going after girls for falsely claim they were raped.”

    Change a couple of words in each statement and you have a mad feminista screeming that prosecuting ‘rapists’ (guilt already decided) isn’t “exactly at the top of their list of priorities” and “They do not have a track record for going after ‘rapists”(guilt confirmed by the accusation).

    Thus we have the two sides of the same vindictive little coin, wholly uninterested either in evidence or reason.

  37. Firstly, we don’t know what the CPS’s intentions were; whether they wanted to get her off lightly or throw the book at her. This is all pure speculation. Since the CPS prosecutes other false claims, my own view is that they cannot be accused of bias in either direction in this case on the basis of what we know.

    Secondly we must remember that even in thoroughly rotten and corrupt police states, the police still also prosecute genuine criminals. The fact that such authorities have brought “good” cases doesn’t mean they don’t also bring “bad” cases to court. For instance, the assertion that a police force is racist would not be disproved by their prosecuting a white murderer of a black man.

    The key issue here is that the narrative being peddled is that all sympathy should be for a woman who, to the best of our knowledge, committed a heinous act. She killed herself, apparently, due to the reasonable shame at what she had done, or possibly due to potential embarrassment regarding her sexual lifestyle. The bipolar diagnosis (an increasingly common affliction ascribed to impulsive or moody people) does not excuse criminal responsibility, which is based on whether she knew right from wrong when committing the act, which nobody can reasonably deny.

    What seems to be being proposed here is that false claims should not be prosecuted; or, women should not be prosecuted; or, blondes with big tits should not be prosecuted. It is not entirely clear which.

  38. “Since that was the purpose of the private prosecution according to the man bringing it, why exactly would the CPS have taken it over in order to ensure a lesser punishment? Lesser than what?”

    The motive of the CPS in taking over the private prosecution had nothing to do with the level (if any) of punishment they may or may not have considered suitable for her actions. Its motive was entirely to maintain its control of the system. It cannot allow people to get justice in any way other than via itself, so it had to take the prosecution on. Once it did it discovered (probably to its horror) that the evidence was so overwhelming that they would have to proceed. And that would most likely mean a higher level of punishment than if it had stayed as a private prosecution. But that was irrelevant to it – the most important thing was that it was now in control, not the victim.

  39. @blokeinwales:

    Not according to ‘Door wide open’ to gender abortion as CPS blocks prosecution of doctors, campaigners claim from the paleshadowofitsformerselfograph a few days ago.

    The above characterisation is also untrue as the reason that the CPS took over and dropped the above prosecution was partly to remain in control of the prosecution system, but also because it was clear from the outset that the above was not actually illegal (albeit distasteful) under the law.

    Although personally I would prefer a judge rather than a CPS official to do this sort of thing as they are a lot more vocal about the courts time being wasted when it is.

    I’ve been in court as a friend of the accused when the judge simply ruled the prosecution woefully unprepared and dismissed the case as “simply not in the public interest”.

    The look on the CPS guys face when his request for an adjournment because he had none of the paperwork for the case was turned into a dismissal was something I will never forget. A traffic case rather than rape or perjury, but these things matter to the accused, regardless of the offence.

  40. SE

    Yes we can agree it is a game, it all seems to be. Can we also agree we really don’t like the game very much?

  41. @IanB: Well, they do claim to be (for once) planning to use discretion:

    “A Department of Health spokesman confirmed the move and said that piercings were a form of FGM even when performed on consenting adult women.

    He added: “While there are challenges in this area and adult women may have genital piercings, in some communities girls are forced to have them.

    “The World Health Organisation has quite rightly defined this as a form of FGM. We are taking every precaution to record genital piercings that have been done within an abusive context.”

    I’m not sure how, but there you go…

  42. Andrew M,

    > the CPS’ policy is to always take over private prosecutions in such cases

    Agreed, that that sentence says what it says, but it is in the middle of a very vague and hedged paragraph. I think they’ve got wiggle-room, and so does the DPP:

    When we receive a request to intervene, as we did in this case, we must consider that request and apply the same test, set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors, as we would to any other prosecution. If, as here, the case does meet our test we have two options. One is to leave the case in the hands of the private prosecutor, the other is to take the case over and conduct it. Our Legal Guidance states that private prosecutions should be taken over and prosecuted where the offence is serious and also where the case is one “that merits the prosecution being conducted by a public prosecuting authority rather than by a private individual”. Given the test was met in this case, had the CPS not taken over proceedings, a private prosecution would have continued. In my view, given the nature of the allegations, that would not have been appropriate.

    She explicitly stated that the private prosecution would have continued had the CPS not taken it over, i.e. that

    Jim,

    > Once it did it discovered (probably to its horror) that the evidence was so overwhelming that they would have to proceed.

    Oh no! A case we will probably win! The horror! How did this career-wrecking shit end up on my desk?

    Ian B,

    > This is all pure speculation. Since the CPS prosecutes other false claims, my own view is that they cannot be accused of bias in either direction in this case on the basis of what we know.

    Exactly, yes.

    John Galt,

    > it was clear from the outset that the above was not actually illegal (albeit distasteful) under the law.

    We’re about to go way off on a tangent here, but no, bollocks. The problem with the case was that the abortions in question were clearly illegal, but they were illegal according to a law that is routinely ignored so it was impossible to prosecute them without pointing out that most abortions in Britain are illegal and thereby opening up a giant can of worms. Even the CPS did not make the claim you’re making: they just said the prosecution wasn’t in the public interest. And they may have had a point, considering the inevitably resultant shitstorm.

  43. Oops!

    She explicitly stated that the private prosecution would have continued had the CPS not taken it over, i.e. that no prosecution wasn’t really an option.

  44. Squander-

    The problem with the case was that the abortions in question were clearly illegal, but they were illegal according to a law that is routinely ignored so it was impossible to prosecute them without pointing out that most abortions in Britain are illegal and thereby opening up a giant can of worms.

    Don’t worry, in 40 years time everyone can be prosecuted “historically”, government inquiries demanded, everyone can accuse everyone else (particularly dead people) of “knowing but doing nothing”, bemoan a society “where everyone knew but nobody talked about it”, etc etc.

  45. SQ2: “Oh no! A case we will probably win! The horror! How did this career-wrecking shit end up on my desk?”

    I wouldn’t laugh.

    In today’s ultra-politicised CPS, the pursuit of a ‘victim’ (or at least, one of the protected victim classes) might well have scotched someone’s promotion chances…

  46. @JuliaM: precisely. I’ll bet the career prospects of whoever made the decision to proceed with the prosecution of this woman are worse than they were before.

    Lets say in a decades time he or she is potentially up for the top job. Would he or she be given it, and risk having the usual Wimmin suspects screaming about how he or she had been responsible for hounding a poor innocent rape victim to her death? Or would the CPS decide to promote a less contentious candidate?

    I think we all know the answer to that one.

  47. I don’t share the general assumption on here that the CPS is a bunch of panty-waist LGBT campaigners.

    They took over the prosecution, as they were entitled to do. While I’m not a mind reader or a lawyer, I understand they could have downgraded the charges. Maybe to wasting police time? They didn’t, they proceeded with the most serious charge available to them, with a judge having discretion to set a life sentence. (?)

    If frivolous and vexatious accusations are becoming, in the CPS view, more common, they have to do something. Pour décourager les autres…

  48. “Pantywaist” is all one word, and refers to a child’s garment consisting of a shirt and short trousers that buttoned together at the waist.

    </pendant>

  49. There’s a lot of paranoia on display here. The reason the CPS doesn’t pursue very many false rape cases is i) they’re hard to prove ii) they take into account the public interest which includes the mental state of the defendant.

    Frankly, lots of these women are nutcases, so I assume that’s a factor.

    The big problem with the CPS is not that they’re all a bunch of leftist placement, it’s that they are run ragged and (genuinely) under resourced.

    The current state of the Criminal Justice System in England is an enormous and hardly-talked-about scandal (I’m sure M’Learned Friend Mr Lud would concur, if he’s about).

    I don’t care who you are, if you have 40 cases on the go, and you’re dealing with hundreds of statements and exhibits, missing interpreters, disillusioned barristers, stupid bosses, defendants failing to appear and a hundred other issues you will pick the low hanging fruit and take the easy way out.

    Most people, most of the time.

  50. CPS offices are local. The socially acceptable behaviour in one office (“Rapists must be punished!”) might not be the same in another office (“False accusers are undermining genuine rape victims!”).

  51. Ironman,
    There’s a huge amount of assumption dressed as fact as well.

    Those bemoaning the persecution of middle-aged white males are being at least a little bit wet.

    As observed elsewhere, chicks don’t dig that.

  52. The big problem with the CPS is not that they’re all a bunch of leftist placement, it’s that they are run ragged and (genuinely) under resourced.

    Small wonder given how many things are crimes these days. Thanks, Blair.

  53. Jim,

    > I’ll bet the career prospects of whoever made the decision to proceed with the prosecution of this woman are worse than they were before. Lets say in a decades time he or she is potentially up for the top job.

    Unlikely, since she already has the top job.

    Try to keep up.

  54. Tim,

    > Small wonder given how many things are crimes these days. Thanks, Blair.

    God, yeah. One of the big problems with New Labour was that they couldn’t get their heads around the concept of just leaving it. They make more stuff more illegal, then they complain that the courts are too busy, then they introduce loads of convictions-by-post (especially for driving), not because they wanted to trample rights but because they were faced with a problem of their own making and genuinely couldn’t see any other solution. Of course, the real solution was that the limited capacity of the courts is a feature, not a bug, forcing our lords and masters to prioritise a bit, both in the laws they make and the prosecutions they bring. They never got that.

  55. They never got that, because they never had the time to think of it. They were too busy fucking up the constitution and institutions that worked fine, but were committing the mortal sin of being more than 5 minutes old.

  56. > You’re presuming that Alison Saunders as head of the CPS made the decision here, rather than the local CPS hierarchy?

    I think it’s clear from her statements that she was involved, but let’s say she wasn’t. She has repeatedly taken responsibility for the decision, defended it, and backed it up. Even if the decision wasn’t hers, her publicly backing it to the hilt would certainly be sufficient for her to suffer the negative career consequences you mention. Doesn’t seem to have happened.

  57. Doesn’t seem to have happened.

    Doesn’t seem to have happened yet, but a lot of people are fucked off about how Saunders has politicised the CPS role, even more so than the execrable Kier Starmer.

    If Labour win the election, I doubt things will change at the CPS, but if the Tories win or form some form of right-of-centre coalition (I know, I know), then I suspect that Alison Saunders will be handed her hat, probably with the usual appointments and gongs attached – but they will put someone either neutral (as it should be) or politically closer to their position.

  58. Oh, John Galt, I’d like to think so, but in pandering to vociferous offence seekers and identity politics mavens, I really don’t think NuLabour were that much more than a nose ahead of Dave’s NuTories, do you?

  59. Saunders was appointed by the Tories in the full knowledge that she is a radical feminist who would politicise the position even more than Starmer.

  60. Not generally, but there are limits and Saunders has fucking leapt far beyond them. With all this historical stuff being dragged up at Saunders instigation it’s affecting them politically as well.

    Moving her on-and-up as a Dame and running some bullshit in the Lords might be an easy way to get rid of her without being seen to actually remove her, while at the same time bringing someone in to dump the PC bullshit and put the political skeletons back in their closets.

    They were all for Saville and the celebrity witchhunts because it was the BBC that was in the frame, but now the focus is on the antics of previous political leaders (Ted Heath, Cyril Smith, etc.), I doubt they will be so keen. Although sex scandals have traditionally been a Tory and Liberal problem, I wouldn’t be surprised if Labour didn’t have a few sexual abuse skeletons too.

    I’m not saying that any of this has any substance, but tittle-tattle about dead celebrities, even if there is no basis seems to be no problem, so why not dead MP’s?

  61. “I think it’s clear from her statements that she was involved, but let’s say she wasn’t. She has repeatedly taken responsibility for the decision, defended it, and backed it up. Even if the decision wasn’t hers, her publicly backing it to the hilt would certainly be sufficient for her to suffer the negative career consequences you mention. Doesn’t seem to have happened.”

    Of course she’s backed it publicly, whats she going to do, admit that they f*cked up, and open them up to being sued?

    Its highly unlikely that she was the one who took the decision to actually prosecute this women, that will have been taken at a far lower level than the head of the CPS. But as its her organisation she will have to stand by that decision now the sh*t has hit the fan. There isn’t any alternative. But everyone will know it wasn’t her decision so she won’t be held responsible at some later date if she was going for some other job even higher up than head of the CPS.

    Whereas the poor benighted sod at a a lower level who took the actual decision can kiss goodbye his or her chances of progressing up the greasy pole. Making your boss look bad in front of a load people who she actually agrees with isn’t good for your career prospects.

  62. Bloke in North Dorset

    SQ2

    Oh no! A case we will probably win! The horror! How did this career-wrecking shit end up on my desk?

    Perhaps it was the other way round? The CPS realised there was a strong case and a guilty verdict in a private prosecution would have been very embarrassing and severely career limiting for the people who decided not to pursue the case.

  63. “The reason the CPS doesn’t pursue very many false rape cases is i) they’re hard to prove ii) they take into account the public interest which includes the mental state of the defendant.

    Frankly, lots of these women are nutcases, so I assume that’s a factor.”

    Strangely enough the mental state of men is less of an issue when considering whether or not to prosecute them for crimes. There’s plenty of men in prison who really should be in mental institutions, but no one cares about that. Whereas a woman only has to be a bit irrational and its ‘She shouldn’t be held responsible for her actions, she’s got mental health issues’.

    As rape is such a vile crime, accusing someone of it falsely is an equally vile crime. On the basis we don’t excuse rapists because they are ‘a bit nuts’, neither should we excuse women who make false allegations because they are ‘bipolar’ or whatever label passes for nutjob these days.

  64. John Galt-

    It’s unlikely anyone in the government wants to ditch Saunders, least of all Theresa May who can make a lot of political capital out of a few cadaver trials if she plays it right. Bearing in mind that there are few more repulsive mental images than Cyril Smith doing unspeakable things with little boys, in a time before any of the currently politically ascendant can be held responsible, there is more mileage in pursuing than dropping it.

    Add to that that any attempt to sideline Saunders will cause intense shrieking from the feminists- many of whom are Tory wives- and that Cameron’s “progressive” Tories are utterly wedded to the PC agenda, then I think you’re misreading this.

    The CPS pursues a few false rape claims a year. This one blew up unexpectedly when a photogenic young woman topped herself and the Rape Movement saw another Stephen Lawrence moment in the making. Saunders is thus taking the only line she reasonably can, which is to defend her department and seek to minimise damage, knowing at the least that as a card carrying feminist pursuing a Mackinnonite rape agenda, she cannot be plausibly accused of being a “blame the victim” misogynist.

  65. Bloke in Costa Rica

    If she hadn’t had such a cracking pair of charlies then no-one would still be talking about this. The fact she was posh totty and delightfully zaftig, coupled with the imputations she was a bit of a goer, must have made the Daily Mail’s patented Pruriometer® light up like a fruit machine about to pay out the jackpot. If she’d been average-looking and working class the whole unedifying saga would have barely merited attention. It’s all very sad, but of rather less cosmic significance than the acres of newsprint devoted to the story would suggest.

  66. Andrew M,

    Jumping way back up the thread here, but I didn’t twig yesterday.

    I think this quote:

    Where the offence relates to an alleged false claim of rape, the CPS should take over the case unless there are exceptional circumstances not to do so.

    has been placed on the site since this case broke. Because Saunders said:

    As a result of this case, I intend to make it clear to prosecutors that, where the allegation in question arises out of an alleged false claim of rape, it would be an exceptional course for it to be left in the hands of the private prosecutor.

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