Trafficking and Rape Case

Apr 2019

I was instructed in to represent a young man who was one of 22 defendants alleged to be involved in more than 80 offences involving the trafficking and serious sexual abuse of girls. There were a total of 247 witnesses giving 28,000 pages of evidence.

The case was one of the largest, most sensitive and complex of its kind, with allegations ranging from sexual assault to rape. The prosecution alleged that under-age girls were taken around the country to be abused by members of the travelling community.

The difficulty for the defendants was that some of what the complainants said was true – and filmed – but it was not necessarily criminal; but much of what was alleged was not true.  We therefore had to look in great detail at exactly what was said to have happened to try to determine whether there were inaccuracies or untruths.  Psychiatric and other background evidence was obtained and used to put the allegations in context.

These inquiries showed the main complainant to be a very unreliable witness and eventually the case was stopped by the judge.

The prosecution then decided to add new charges relating to video recordings that had been made of the girls.  I persuaded the trial judge to stop the case as ‘an abuse of process’. The prosecution then appealed that ‘terminatory ruling’ to the Court of Appeal.

At the Court of Appeal, my client was finally acquitted.

Brief details of other similar cases can be found here.