The data analysed is about how many allegations are MADE, not admitted nor proven. In most places the report is very careful to distinguish between allegations and abuse, though there are a few slips, and when the report is talking about the impact on children it talks as if a) abuse is established and b) abuse is the cause of any presenting distress / issue (as to which see Sue Whitcombe). It is fair to assume that a reasonable proportion of those allegations come from people who have actually experienced what they allege they experienced. Some may be wrong, exaggerated or false – but any argument about precisely how many would be sterile. Some of the people making allegations in this data set (and their children) needed protection. Some of the people accused in this data set (and their children) needed protection from false allegations. This study can’t tell us how well they were served, but we can extrapolate some points.http://www.transparencyproject.org.uk/joint-research-cafcass-and-womens-aid/
Fifth, when there are (and this is very common) false allegations against the target parent then, According to Anthony Douglas of CAFCASS
“you can’t oversimplify it into punish one parent because generally the punishment of a parent rebounds on a child”
There are several problems with this.
Firstly, the use of ‘oversimplify’ implies a value-judgement that has not been proven. If one parent makes false allegations against the other, that is simple, isn’t it? False allegations loom large in most PA cases. AP alleges that TP has assaulted AP. Or the child. This is simple. It is either true or false. The onus, as with all allegations, is, or ought to be, on the party making the allegations to prove the allegations. As soon as it is clear that the allegations are false, they should be withdrawn, and some kind of sanction levied against AP.
False Allegations of Rape and/or Domestic Abuse, see: Guidance for Charging Perverting the Course of Justice and Wasting Police Time in Cases involving Allegedly False Allegations of Rape and/or Domestic Abuse
The Decision Making Process
As with all offences, prosecutors must apply the Full Code Test as set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. The Full Code Test has two stages: (1) the evidential stage; and (2) the public interest stage. The evidential stage must be considered before the public interest stage. A case which does not pass the evidential stage must not proceed, no matter how serious or sensitive it may be. Where there is sufficient evidence to justify a prosecution, prosecutors must go on to consider whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.
A person who deliberately makes a false allegation of a crime in the knowledge that there is a risk that the police will conduct an investigation would have committed one of the relevant offences and is liable to be prosecuted subject to public interest considerations.
The first question will be whether the suspect has in fact made a clear and unambiguous complaint of a crime against an identifiable individual in the first place. This may not be the case in the following situations:
- Where he / she merely expressed a concern or feeling that they might have been the victim of a crime which was then perhaps treated as a complaint by others. This may be the case where the suspect cannot remember all the details, perhaps as a result of taking alcohol or drugs. In such a case this would merely be a truthful reflection of the suspect’s state of mind rather than a positive complaint of a crime.
- Where he / she did not truly understand the nature of the allegation which was reported. This may be the case, for example, where the suspect said that they had not consented but did not actually understand what the word “consent” meant. There should be particular focus on this issue where the suspect is young or has mental health or learning issues.
- Where a third party made the allegation and the suspect was not completely supportive of it perhaps because they were coerced into supporting it.
The second question will be whether there is sufficient evidence to prove that allegation was in fact false. If the evidence is such that the original allegation might reasonably be true then there is not a realistic prospect of conviction and no charge should be brought. The mere fact that the original allegation did not meet the evidential stage of the full Code test does not mean that the prosecution can prove that it was false. That involves an entirely different question. Likewise, where a complainant withdraws their support for a prosecution but nevertheless maintains their allegation is true, this is unlikely in itself to be sufficient to found a case for one of the relevant offences.
Most cases of rape and / or domestic abuse will involve one person’s word against another. Prosecutors should work proactively with the police to make sure any other evidence which may be relevant to the issue has been obtained. Such evidence will include CCTV footage, telephone traffic, text message or other electronic message exchange, cell site evidence, evidence from other witnesses, medical and scientific evidence, 999 calls, employment records and available risk assessments.
It is important that such evidence is scrutinised with care to see whether it really does support the falsity of the allegation made and, if so, to what extent or whether it tends to support its truth. When applying such scrutiny the quality and true value of the evidence must be assessed in the light of what sought to be proved by it. The evidence may, for example, more readily and clearly prove falsity where it is incontrovertible evidence [such as clear CCTV footage] which shows that the parties were not even together at the time the allegation is said to have occurred. It may less readily and clearly do so, for example, in situations where it is necessary to show the suspect consented to a sexual act in order to prove falsity. Care must be taken to apply the appropriate weight to such evidence.
Inconsistencies in the various accounts provided by the suspect whether given in statements / ABE interviews or informally [i.e. during risk assessments or medical examinations] can be considered. It is important, however, to bear in mind that it is common for true victims of sexual and domestic abuse to give inconsistent accounts due to the trauma of the attack or for other reasons. The extent and circumstances of any inconsistencies must be carefully scrutinised. Positive contradiction of the suspect’s allegation is of much more value than inconsistencies.
It will also be necessary to take into account any reaction of the suspect when contradictory evidence is put to them in interview. However, an admission may not necessarily be sufficient to prove falsity and will never, on its own, suffice. There may be many understandable reasons why a true victim may distance themselves from an allegation they once made [see section on retractions below].
Where the suspect has made previous apparently false allegations then prosecutors should ensure all relevant information is obtained about them. The circumstances of each must be scrutinised to ascertain if it really was false. Alternative scenarios should be actively considered. For example, it may be a case where the suspect merely withdrew his / her support for an otherwise true allegation. It may be that the suspect was coerced into withdrawing from the prosecution process. It may be that the allegation of rape / domestic abuse was not acted upon because of unfounded assumptions by others about its reliability. If it was positively retracted then the circumstances of such retraction must be considered in accordance with the guidance below. If the earlier allegation may have been true then it should be ignored. Only if it is demonstrably false can it be taken into account and then, as with any other evidence of the suspect’s bad character, consideration must be given to whether it would in fact be admitted under section 101 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Rarely if ever should such evidence be used to justify a prosecution in the absence of any other cogent evidence of falsity.
Have you been falsely accused of rape, another serious sexual offence or domestic violence? Have you been ‘framed’ by a malicious lie? Or has this happened to someone you love or care about? If so, then you are a victim of one of the growing social injustices of our time.
accused.me.uk is a support site set up by people in the UK who’ve been through the same hell as you. We also campaign to improve the way innocent men are treated by the police and the CPS.
If you need direct and personal contact now, join our private Facebook Group. Here, you can meet 1,500 of us who will understand what you’re going through. Try our links pages to reach other sites or groups. If you’re from the USA, you can request to join our US FaceBook support group here.
Enquiries from journalists or media should be directed to email@example.com. We are keen that our stories are told Continue reading “Have you been falsely accused of rape”
When a divorce or child custody battle is not involved, a false claim of domestic violence may be made when one party is vindictive toward the other and wants to exact revenge. Or maybe a heated argument occurs and is misconstrued as actual violence.
Perhaps only shouting was involved, and no physical abuse or violence happened. Or perhaps physical contact was limited to grabbing an arm or a hand, but without actual violence. A claim still could be made that violence occurred, and that claim would have to be disproved by the accused Continue reading “Revenge-motivated domestic violence allegations”
The Lord Chancellor’s Department’s statistics show that since 1985 there have been over 85,000 miscarriages of justice, as evidenced by successful appeals against criminal conviction.
CCRC Criminal Case Review Commission. Official organisation for clearing up miscarriages of justice in Britain. Click Here
European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg How to apply to the Court List of judgements. Click Here
Forensic Panel American site, updated throughout the week. Its database features hundreds of articles and other original content on forensic behavioral sciences, DNA, toxicology, and pathology. Click Here
INUK Innocence Network UK. Pioneering Conference (Sept. 2-3 2004) at Bristol University to establish an Innocence Network UK (INUK) to fight miscarriages of justice. Click Here
The National Federation of Miscarriage of Justice Campaign and Support Organisations National network with monthly meetings in Liverpool. PO BOX 51 Upton Wirral Merseyside CH49 2WA Email: MAI5@lineone.net. Click Here
MOJUK Miscarriage of Justice UK. Collects and supports the various campaigns to free unjustly convicted prisoners. Click Here
“Miscarriages of Justice” Chapters online of a 1999 book by Clive Walker (Professor of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds) and Keir Starmer (Barrister, Doughty St Chambers). Click Here
Tough Justice Information hub of cases of miscarriage of justice UK. Tom Sargent Memorial Lectures. Click Here
Prison Service UK HM Prison Service Website of the Prison Service, includes information and addresses for all prisons in England and Wales. Click Here
Tough Justice Information hub of cases of miscarriage of justice UK. Tom Sargent Memorial Lectures. Click Here
Truth in Justice USA Educational non-profit organized to educate the public regarding the vulnerabilities in the U. S. criminal justice system that make the criminal conviction of wholly innocent persons possible. Click Here
Police Chiefs to Replace Disclosure Consent Forms
Controversial consent forms giving police access to phones and other devices in criminal cases are to be replaced, after they were criticised by the Information Commissioner’s Office. In 2019 the National Police Chiefs Council and Crown Prosecution Service announced they were introducing standardised consent forms for allowing access to phones and other devices. However, the Centre for Women’s Justice said the forms were unlawful, discriminatory and led to excessive and intrusive disclosure requests. The centre brought a legal challenge on behalf of two women, which was put on hold pending the ICO’s investigation report on mobile phone data extraction by police forces.The ICO’s report, published last month, said the NPCC-circulated digital consent forms did not make clear what the underpinning lawful basis for an extraction was and that the forms should not be used as currently drafted. Today, the NPCC confirmed that the forms will be replaced with an interim version from 13 August. The College of Policing will produce guidance on investigative practice when mobile phone investigation is needed. Assistant chief constable Tim De Meyer, NPCC lead for disclosure, said: ‘Police and prosecutors have a duty to pursue all reasonable lines of enquiry in every investigation, and to disclose any material that undermines the case for the prosecution or assists the case for the accused. This is a fundamental principle of our criminal justice system, which ensures that trials are fair.
Read more: Law Gazette, Police chiefs to replace disclosure consent forms
Police chiefs to replace disclosure consent formsForms were criticised by the Information Commissioner’s Office and were being legally challenged.
If you find yourself Falsely Accused Of A Criminal Offence, it’s very important that you know your rights. It is always illegal to falsely accuse someone of a crime, and you should not rest until you have cleared your name. Your accuser may be wasting police time, Perverting The Course Of Justice or Committing Perjury – if your case ends up in court. Hopefully, none of this will ever happen to you but if it does, tell your lawyer the truth and be calm but persistent about what you know to be the correct version of evens.Check out the Separated Dads Forum… It’s a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads. Continue reading “If You Are Accused of a Crime”
Every year, many people in the UK are falsely accused of domestic violence. The reasons for this are wide-ranging. Some partners or ex-partners make up allegations of domestic violence to get out of a relationship that they are otherwise unhappy with, others do it to spite their partners, while some still want to ensure that they stop (usually) the father from seeing the children.
In other circumstances, a stranger, someone you know, or perhaps your child’s teacher could become concerned about an injury to your child or something your child says – and refers Social Services to you. The tragic fact is that this does happen to people who are totally innocent of any crime. Sadly, although in this country you are ‘innocent until proven guilty’, the truth is that sometimes people can get charged and found guilty for domestic violence on very little evidence. Continue reading “Being Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence”
The offence of wasting police time (section 5(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1967) is committed when a person:
Causes wasteful employment of the police by knowingly making to any person, a false report orally or in writing tending to:
- show that an offence has been committed;
- give rise to apprehension for the safety of any persons or property; or
- show that he has information material to any police inquiry.
Wasting police time is a summary only offence and proceedings may only be instituted by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as set out in section 5(3) of the Criminal Law Act 1967. Proceedings must be started within the six month summary time limit, from the date on which the complaint was made, not from when the falsity of the allegation was suspected or detected. It is important when considering charges of wasting police time in such cases, that prosecutors pay due attention to the date of the commission of the offence, and whether other options such as an out of court disposal are appropriate after taking the full facts into consideration. Continue reading “Wasting Police Time”