Thursday, May 14, 2009

UK court says man falsely accused of rape entitled to crime victim's compensation

It appears that a grave injustice in British law has been corrected. We previously wrote at Glenn Sacks' site about the double standards in the UK's system for compensating even non-forcible rape and sexual assault victims and false rape claim victims. The former class of victims was entitled to compensation, the latter was not. And see here, too. This double-standard was indefensible, by any measure, and finally-- as reported in the news story set forth below -- a court has corrected it. What took them so long?

We previously explained the injustice:

"The UK compensates victims of [even] non-forcible rape and even inappropriate touching over clothing. Consistent with the double standards so prevalent in this area, the UK does not compensate men who were falsely accused of rape, no matter how terrible their victimization.
. . . .
"To verify this, I wrote to the CICA and asked if a false rape claim would be covered, noting that such claims often have the effect of mentally (not to mention financially) destroying the falsely accused. I received a prompt and professional response that included the following: 'Under the terms of our scheme unfortunately this would not be covered. Under the terms of our scheme for eligibility, applicants need to be the victim of a violent crime.'

"It is important to underscore the double-standard here: the victim of a single instance of a sexual act over the clothing is entitled to compensation, but a man falsely accused of rape who is arrested and jailed for weeks, months or even years, and who is subjected to untold mental agonies, the loss of his good name, and all manner of other indignities, is entitled to nothing. The victimization of men falsely accused of rape, no matter how egregious their injuries, is regarded as less worthy of society’s protection than the victimization of non-forcible rape victims, no matter how slight their injuries. The grave inequity of this double-standard is morally grotesque."

But finally a court has said that a man falsely accused of rape can receive compensation. And that is only just and proper, because there is no legitimate way to distinguish between non-forcible rape victims and victims of false rape claims aside from misandry.

Here is the news story:

Ruling backs false rape claim man

A man falsely accused of rape has been told he has grounds for compensation.

A tribunal in Taunton ruled Clive Bishop, of Walton, Somerset, can apply for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

In 2007, Mr Bishop was falsely accused of rape by a woman who made up the allegation. She was given a 10-month prison sentence as a result.

The 49-year-old said he lost his taxi business and was shunned by his local community as a result of the claims.

His previous attempts to claim from CICA had been turned down because he did not suffer physical damage.

In February 2007, Mr Bishop was arrested and charged with raping a girl he had picked up in his taxi.

Six weeks later he was told the case would not be proceeding as the girl had dropped her claim and had been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

CICA's view that Mr Bishop was not entitled to compensation as he had not been a victim of physical violence was overturned by the court on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for CICA told BBC News Online said it would not comment on individual cases.
Mr Bishop said: "I feel the way that I was treated - being arrested in my own living room at 4.30 in the morning in front of my wife - I don't think that people understand the distress, the hurt that it caused myself, my wife my family and my friends. It was horrific."

The Taunton tribunal has now ruled that Mr Bishop does have grounds for compensation and should continue with his application.

Lawyers say it is too soon to tell if this will set a precedent for other cases of mental and psychological damage.

Mr Bishop's solicitor Russell Pearce of Pardoes said: "We are absolutely delighted, it is the right result and it means that for the future other people may have the opportunity to make an application, which is very important."