Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Schoolgirl escapes prosecution after false rape claim

A 14-year-old schoolgirl has escaped being prosecuted after she falsely claimed a man brutally raped her as she walked home from school. Now the fuming man, Cleveland Kennedy, intends to take out a private prosecution against her after being wrongly labelled a paedophile. It was the biggest police investigation in the market town of Chippenham, Wiltshire, for years after the girl then aged 12 made the allegation in 2006. After the 'attack', terrified Mr Kennedy was arrested and kept in a special sex offender protection unit in prison on remand for 75 days.
Meanwhile as a 'treat', his accuser was taken abroad on holiday to get over her 'ordeal.' But then she agreed she had made it all up.

However, the CPS ruled the girl should be given a final warning after a police investigation that she had perverted the course of justice, leaving Mr Kennedy furious. He said: "I am going to prosecute her. She should have been prosecuted. I still want her prosecuted. And I want compensation and an apology from the Chief Constable. "I faced the possibility of life in prison for something I did not do. It was a terrifying ordeal for me. I was set up - stitched up." Mr Kennedy, 42, was held on remand with Category A offenders at Bristol Jail before being freed. Karen Harrold the Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wiltshire said there was sufficient evidence 'but that it is not in the public interest to proceed with a prosecution' against her. "I have advised that the young girl should receive a final warning which will involve her working with Wiltshire Youth Offending Service and include restorative justice approaches and counselling."
The CPS said the girl had been subject to sexual abuse by another person. Kennedy had appeared before magistrates and then before a judge at Bristol Crown Court. He was being held pending his trial before he was suddenly freed.

Comment: Again, the false accuser is deemed not so much a criminal as a victim herself.