Mr Kay – like far too many people – is the victim of a wrongful conviction. He was charged with raping a woman with whom he had had a brief sexual relationship. He was duly convicted in 2013 and sentenced to four and a half years in prison, plus the obligatory lifetime registration as a sex offender. He served over two years in prison, seemingly forever branded a convicted rapist. Although he always maintained his innocence, his life has been permanently blighted.
Of course, the detectives who dealt with the allegations against Mr Kay, prior to his being charged, could have found this vital evidence in a matter of minutes, because that is how long it took his sister-in-law to unearth the unedited messages via his Facebook account. But the police officers didn’t bother doing any investigation into his accuser’s very serious allegations, in order to verify whether or not she was telling the truth - they just presumed she was. I doubt anybody who has had an experience of these so-called police investigations will be surprised by this. At the time of Mr. Kay's trial, the jury did not see the full, unedited exchange of messages nor did it hear that the complainant had deliberately manipulated the evidence by deleting key sections that undermined her accusations.
|Court of Appeal|
How very true that statement is.
Innocence in sexual allegation cases, whether established by a jury’s verdict or via the Court of Appeal, means, in reality, next to nothing these days. Anyone accused of even the most preposterous sexual allegation is effectively branded forever. You and your biometric details will be on the police database for as long as you, as an unfortunate falsely accused, are alive (and even beyond) and discredited allegations will be disclosed to potential employers or voluntary organisations during any vetting and barring checks, thus smearing you and your previously good name again and again. To exacerbate matters, the noxious lies and smears of your anonymous accuser(s) will remain online forever, easily uncovered via Google, no matter how utterly false and baseless such allegations might be.
In reality, there is no prospect of any ‘rehabilitation’ for the falsely accused in our society. It’s the fact someone is the target of a sexual allegation that matters far more than the legal outcome. As Mr Kay has so rightly pointed out, the stench of your accuser’s vile lies will hang around you forever, regardless of any jury verdict or judgement in the Court of Appeal. As so many others have discovered, even if you have never been arrested or charged, the damage done to reputations, careers and to families is usually irreparable.
The Secretary of State for Justice has concluded that the conviction was not reversed as a result of a new or newly discovered fact that shows beyond reasonable doubt that you did not commit the offence.
|Convicted: Carl Beech|
In recent years, this kind of sophistry has become the standard response of MoJ bureaucrats to any compensation claim following the quashing of a wrongful conviction, especially when the original accusation involved sexual assault. Victims of miscarriages of justice – such as Victor Nealon, who served 17 years in prison for a rape that DNA evidence later proved he did not commit – have not just been kicked out of the prison gate penniless, but have even faced demands that they pay MoJ legal costs for having had the temerity to pursue their compensation claims. Absolutely sickening, especially in an era where millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash is routinely handed out by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) to a gallimaufry of liars, fakers, hoaxers, fraudsters and fantasists, such as the criminals Carl Beech, Jemma Beale and the rest of their repulsive ilk.
If we accept the fact that we are supposedly living in a fair, just society, then surely the denial of appropriate redress to victims of miscarriages of justice must end. Not only does the current practice reek of injustice towards those who have been railroaded into prison by an unholy alliance between partisan police officers and prosecutors, but it makes it almost impossible for the wrongly convicted ever to clear their names. After all, if the MoJ doesn't consider that they deserve recompense for their lost years in jail, why should members of the public believe their protestations of innocence? This is simply a case of justice being denied and responsibility for mistakes being shrugged off by politicians and bureaucrats.
|Victor Nealon: free but life ruined|
Where are the charities, think-tanks and social enterprises queuing up to help those blameless folk whose lives have been utterly devastated by cruel and calculating liars, fantasists and fraudsters? Why should the innocent – like Mr Kay, Mr Nealon and many others – face an unrelenting battle to re-establish themselves back into society?
|No support from VS|
And where is the voice of the Victims’ Commissioner in all this? Or usually vocal organisations such as Victim Support? I’ve heard nothing beyond a deafening silence.
It strongly suggests that anyone who has had his or her life trashed by an allegation of sexual assault by an unscrupulous, devious opportunist is 'the wrong kind of victim' of what is a very serious crime. And, unlike actual criminals, such innocents will never be offered any support or be helped in any sort of rehabilitation programme.
What a cruel society we can be when dealing with unfashionable minority groups, such as the falsely accused.