Monday, February 23, 2009

Breaking news: prosecution halts rape trial of man who supposedly raped his wife 'virtually every day' -- due to lack of evidence

In the story below, the trial of a young husband whose wife claimed he raped her "virtually every day," was abruptly halted by the prosecution due to lack of evidence. The young man's mother and three sisters were also on trial for abusing and falsely imprisoning the alleged victim. The woman had taken the stand last week and denied that she fabricated a tale of abuse, rape and imprisonment in order to secure a visa to remain in the UK.

So, even though the prosecution claimed that the young man raped this woman a thousand times or more (a figure I've arrived at given the length of their marriage and the fact that he raped her "virtually every day"), and even though the jury heard about the alleged atrocities inflicted on the woman from the woman's own mouth, the prosecution stopped the trial. Not because of insufficient evidence, apparently, because the jury theoretically could have believed the woman's story if it had chosen to do so, but likely because either the tale was simply too incredible or the woman had second thoughts about possibly lying under oath.

How will this be chalked up by those who claim that the rape conviction rate is too low? Will they add a thousand unpunished rapes to their tally, consistent with their practice of regarding each and every rape claim as a "rape," regardless of whether the evidence can sustain it? And wouldn't be just as fair, or more fair, to consider these claims as false reports?

The better question that few will bother to ask is, will the prosecutor consider charging her with a thousand counts of false reporting? But how dare I even suggest that a woman might have lied under these circumstances.


Chapelfields bride rape trial halted

By Emma StoneCrime Reporter

THE TRIAL of a Coventry family accused of beating and raping a young Pakistani bride following an arranged marriage has been dramatically halted after the prosecution said it would be offering no more evidence.

At a hearing at Coventry Crown Court yesterday, Judge Peter Carr instructed the jury to find the alleged victim's husband, mother-in-law and her three sisters-in-law not guilty of all charges before they were released.

The 25-year-old alleged victim moved to Coventry from Pakistan after an arranged marriage to a city man in 2004. She claimed she was beaten, raped and kept locked in a house in Chapelfields by her husband and his family for three years.

Her 26-year-old husband was charged with rape, assault, false imprisonment and threats to kill.

Her mother-in-law was charged with false imprisonment and assault and her sisters-in-law, aged 28, 19 and 16, were charged with assault and false imprisonment.

But following yesterday's hearing on day four of the trial, no further action will be taken against them.

Addressing the jury yesterday, prosecutor Simon Phillips said: "We have considered the state of the evidence of this case, as it stands, and in summary we take the view there is no realistic view of a conviction in light of the evidence. No further evidence will be offered."

In directing the jury Judge Peter Carr said: "The prosecution has a continuing duty to keep the evidence under review."