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Call for rape case reform

PUBLISHED: 09:20 05 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:05 03 July 2010

A Norfolk MP has called for a reform of the way rape cases are dealt with after a Norfolk rape complainant was told by telephone that her case would not be taken to court.

A Norfolk MP has called for a reform of the way rape cases are dealt with after a Norfolk rape complainant was told by telephone that her case would not be taken to court.

Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, has criticised the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Suffolk for its “outrageous” treatment of the woman, who said she had been subject to a brutal rape by her former partner at his home in Suffolk last summer.

Mr Lamb said: “It was investigated by the police and a file was sent to the CPS, as is standard practice. The CPS reported back to the police that they didn't believe they had enough evidence to prosecute.

“The police were unhappy about this and they called the woman to tell her that they were challenging the CPS decision. The CPS referred it to another prosecutor, who made the same decision.

“She always knew it would be her word against his, but she wanted the opportunity to try and persuade a jury that she was telling the truth. Instead, she was told over the telephone that it would not be going ahead.

“She asked for a written explanation of why, and heard nothing back. This is because the man had never been charged - when someone is charged the victim is written to with an explanation and offered the chance for a meeting about it. I think in situations like these the same should reply.”

Mr Lamb has written to the head of the Crown Prosecution Service in Suffolk, the Director of Public Prosecutions and Harriet Harman, who is Leader of the House of Commons, and Minister for Women and Equality, calling for a review of the case.

The CPS said that all available evidence in the case had been examined by two prosecutors who specialise in rape cases. A spokesman said: “They did not believe they had enough evidence for a realistic chance of prosecution or conviction.”


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