Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Video spares Amy Winehouse's ex-fiance from prison for rape charges


From The Sun:

Proof she lied: CCTV helped Amy Winehouse’s ex secure not guilty verdict in rape trial

THE film producer fiance of Amy Winehouse told of his “nightmare” at being put on trial for rape — as The Sun today reveals the crucial CCTV that nailed his accuser as a LIAR.

Shattered Reg Traviss — speaking just days after a jury acquitted him — said of his “almost unbearable” ordeal: “When Amy died I thought I couldn’t reach a lower ebb.

“I’m reluctant to say it, but when this came up I don’t think I ever have, or ever will, feel so low.”

His relieved brother Richard, who owns the London nightspot where police seized the vital security camera footage that instead of clinching a conviction helped fuel the not guilty verdict, said: “The CCTV made all the difference.

“Imagine if we hadn’t had it? It would have been one word against another.” The police spent months refusing to let Reg, 35, have access to the footage — claiming the CCTV that neither he nor his brother had seen held nothing of interest.

At his trial, jurors were told Reg’s alleged victim was “so drunk she couldn’t stand up or walk — and was experiencing blackouts and memory loss”.

But as stills from the film screened for the jury dramatically show on these pages the 27-year-old was STEADY on her feet and had NO TROUBLE walking from the club to a cab despite wearing HIGH HEELS.

Reg, who took her back to his flat, said: “They said CCTV footage would show her stumbling around drunk.

“But I have a clear memory of that night and knew that simply wasn’t the case.” He said it was clear police never properly looked at the film — as he continued: “The CCTV showed clearly that she was walking without any help whatsoever, in a pair of high heels. Amy Winehouse's ex Reg Traviss on rape trial: 'I felt very victimised'

"She even held open an 11ft glass door at the end of the night without falling over. I struggle to open that door. She put her arm around me and you can see the doormen saying goodnight. In her evidence she said it was daylight when we left at 8am — but you can see that just simply wasn’t true.”

The jury of six men and six women at London’s Southwark Crown Court also heard the woman lit candles back at his flat, where they twice had sex.

Next day they walked towards a Tube station and kissed before going their separate ways. Reg was horrified when a month later she told cops that he had raped her twice. Still baffled at what could have motivated her, he said: “They were more than lies — it is one of the worst things you can say about a man.”

He said: “This was a girl I thought of as a friend. I had known her since 2007.

“We met at a gig, had mutual friends and had kept in touch.

“We had seen each other on and off and had kept in contact by text.

“She had waited over a month to make a complaint to the police. I just couldn’t understand why.”

Recalling the bombshell day he found himself at London’s Charing Cross police station, he said: “I had a solicitor given to me and we sat and heard the allegations for the first time. They told me who was making the claims and what they were. You hear the word “rape” — and I was completely gobsmacked. I just could not believe it. I was innocent and wanted to be co-operative to clear things up. When they said they needed to search my flat for an item of clothing I told them that if they were looking for her underpants, I could tell them exactly where they were because she had left them behind.

"I was in there for five hours. I don’t want to slag off the police — they have a job to do and were all decent fellas — but I do wonder about political pressures and meeting targets. On their report I was described as 'the famous film director and partner of the late Amy Winehouse'. It does make you wonder if I was a big scalp. The problem is, the system is like a runaway train. Once the wheels are in motion, there is no stopping it. The police tried various tactics to try and panic me — but I never felt nervous, especially in court, because you can’t trip yourself up telling the truth.”

After the police grilling he was so shaken that he could barely bring himself to leave his flat.

He said: “I live in central London and the thought of walking past all the pubs with people standing outside at that time of year really upset me. Then I pulled myself together. I am an innocent man and why should I be living like that?”

He said of the fateful night out with the woman friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons: “We were only merry-drunk.

“We’d been out from 10pm. We did have a few drinks.

“But that was punctuated by lots of fresh air when we walked between pubs and my brother’s nightclub Jet Black.”

He said it was 3.45am when they decided to leave — adding: “I don’t honestly believe the police, prosecutor or judge ever actually believed in her story.

“The woman who gave evidence wasn’t the woman I knew. She was aggressive and angry and completely different to the person I thought I knew.”

“How do I feel about her now? I have no emotions towards her at all. I am blank.”

Reg shuddered as he recalled the experience of finding himself in the dock, he said: “It was absolute torture being locked in a glass box in court listening to shocking lies being said about you.”

The trial that ended in his acquittal on two charges of rape lasted four agonising days. The jury took just four hours to clear him. Reg described it as like “staring at a death sentence”.

He said: “I just couldn’t believe I was so close to my life being over — and I had done nothing wrong. My family, colleagues, friends are all gone if that mud sticks. Let’s face it, allegations like this aren’t like nicking a loaf of bread or getting a speeding ticket. The stakes do not get any higher. I feel genuinely sorry for the true victims of rape. This is a disgusting insult to them, one of the most vile crimes.

"I have really strong views on sex offenders — and there I was defending myself in that arena. This is a high-profile case of someone being wrongfully accused. I sincerely hope it won’t deter the true victims of sexual assault from coming forward.”

He continued: “I was staring at a death sentence. “My barrister told me it was four to five years per charge — so potentially eight to ten years."

Reg went on: “I am fortunate that I had the means to afford proper legal representation. I dread to think what the experience would have been like on Legal Aid.”

His QC Ian Winter candidly said after Reg walked free: “I don’t think in my career I have ever defended any case where I have been so sure of my client’s innocence.”

During the trial Reg, who was poised to wed chart diva Amy when she died aged 27, learned finance for his next film was about to be signed off. He is now planning to throw himself into the project.

He said: “Christmas is a difficult time. It has only been 18 months since Amy died. I’m just looking forward to the rest of my life now — and getting started on the new film.”

His brother Richard said: “The police and CPS let us down — this should never have gone to court and wasted taxpayers’ money.”

Another story found here:
Reg Traviss has said that he felt "victimised" after being tried for rape following a night out last New Year's Eve.

Amy Winehouse's ex-boyfriend, who was acquitted last week of all charges, told TV1's Daybreak that those accused of rape or sexual assault should, like alleged victims, be granted anonymity unless they are found guilty.

Traviss said: "I feel very vulnerable to say the least. I mean it's very, very difficult to get on with your life.

"Like in this instance, obviously I was bailed... but during that time I have to work, get on with my life, exist, and interact in every way that we do anyway with people who know me, and walk the streets as you do. So that psychologically, it does definitely have an effect."

He added: "You feel very victimised, I mean I certainly felt extremely victimised but at the same time I also needed to carry on. So you're dealing with a lot of emotions."

Traviss was acquitted at Southwark Crown Court last week. "I am really relieved, really relieved it's all over. I never did it," he said after the verdict was heard. "The last nine months or however long has been crazy. It feels like anyone can make a complaint and end up having their day in court."