A schoolboy is believed to have killed himself after being accused of raping a girl when he told police about drug dealers in his town.
Tom Acton, 16, became the victim of cruel taunts and was attacked by Thomas Greenwood, 18, when the lies started spreading in Poynton, Cheshire.
He was due to give evidence at Greenwood’s trial but was found critically ill at home days before the court hearing at Crewe Magistrates’ Court.
Tom was attacked in the street, targeted on Facebook and angry youths turned up at his house as lies spread that he had tied a girl to a tree and raped her.
Before he was attacked, Tom moved to Wales briefly to live with his grandmother for his own safety, but was set upon by Greenwood – who can be named after a judge lifted reporting restrictions – who told him ‘you are dead.
It said: ‘He threatened to break my nose and said: “If I see you, you are dead”. I screamed for my life and I saw him just staring me out. I thought my life was going to end.’
He added that the bullying campaign by Greenwood’s friends then increased. ‘He started rumours that I’d raped girls’, he said. ‘It boils down to the fact that I got on better with girls and he didn’t like it.
‘There were rumours that I had tied a girl to a tree, raped her and took pictures. As you can imagine I can no longer walk down the street as everyone calls me a rapist.
‘I felt so scared for my life I wanted to break down and cry. I was scared to go out of the house. I wish I wasn’t here. No one has the right or authority to assault me, cause me harm.
‘I suffered no physical injury just redness it is more of a mental injury caused.’ Greenwood was convicted of assault but cleared of possessing a bladed article and will be sentenced at a later date.
Lawyers are calling for urgent action to avoid miscarriages of justice after another rape case collapsed because key evidence was not disclosed by police.
Samson Makele, 28, feared being deported to Eritrea if he was found guilty of raping a woman he met at Notting Hill Carnival.
But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped its case four days before he was due to go on trial after Mr Makele’s lawyers presented photos showing him and the complainant “cuddling and smiling” in bed.
The 35-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police Mr Makele raped her and prevented her from leaving his flat in August 2016.
She said she only managed to escape the flat after he fell asleep, but the photographs undermined her account.
Mr Makele consistently denied the charge and said sex with the woman was consensual, but an initial request to see the photographs was turned down.
Paris Theodorou, Mr Makele’s solicitor, said prosecutors told his team that apart from selected text messages nothing else on the defendant’s phone could be disclosed.
“So we got the telephone and commissioned our own forensic download,” he told The Independent.
After being sent more than a dozen photographs, showing Mr Makele and the complainant naked, smiling and “snuggling” together in bed, the CPS announced it would offer no evidence against him.
Prosecutors formally dropped the case at a pre-trial review hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, because there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.
Mr Makele said he was relieved but described the effect the 18-month ordeal had, adding: “I cannot sleep, I can’t go anywhere, even for a day.”
As a suspected rapist he had been subject to restrictive bail conditions including a curfew and the seizure of his passport and travel documents.
“It was a huge restriction of his liberty,” Mr Theodorou said. “Not only could he potentially go to prison but he could have been deported to Eritrea.”
It is one of at least five sexual offence cases that have fallen through in the past month because of the failure to disclose key evidence.
Some have seen police download the contents of complainants’ phones but fail to pass on the full information they contained to the prosecution or defence, while others have involved other evidence including CCTV.
The Metropolitan Police announced an urgent review of all live sexual offence and child abuse investigations “as a precaution” after two rape cases collapsed within a week in December.
Liam Allan’s alleged victim had told friends she wanted and enjoyed sex she later reported as rape, it emerged, while Isaac Itiary had been charged with the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl but messages showed she had claimed she was 19.
Weeks later, judges overturned a rape conviction after new Facebook messages emerged supporting his claim the sex in question was consensual.
Danny Kay had been in prison for four years by the time his defence lawyers uncovered an archive of Facebook messages that had been “selectively” deleted by the complainant.
Earlier this month, 29-year-old Mackele Tekleliaimanot was acquitted of attempted rape and sexual assault after CCTV police originally claimed was irrelevant supported his denial, causing prosecutors to drop the case on the fourth day of the trial.
Scotland Yard has denied a “systemic issue” around disclosure, which currently gives police the responsibility to examine electrical devices for evidence and pass anything relevant on to the CPS.
No doubt most readers will by now have seen the astonishing exchange on Channel 4 news between Milo Yiannopoulos and feminist presenter Cathy Newman. Without getting into too much detail, Milo was Milo and as a result Newman completely lost the plot, abandoning any sense of professionalism or integrity in her failed attempts to smear her interviewee.
The discussion trended on Twitter and promoted furious reactions from feminists, not least Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar, the former seat of Vera Baird of all people (a radical feminist who’s sexism we at HEqual have both previously exposed and completely defeated).
It’s likely that many missed Turley’s tweet as it has been ignored by the entire mainstream media and only reported by Guido Fawkes thus far. She wrote: “@channel4News sorry but how did you not punch him in his smug smirky face @cathynewman? Very restrained”. This is quite a contrast to the widespread coverage of a similar Tweet by Tory MP Michael Fabricant in 2014.
Twitter screen-shots can of course be faked and the tweet has now been deleted so it might be hard to prove it to be genuine. Thankfully, any Tweets deleted by MPs are archived and therefore we’ve been able to verify its authenticity.
So, we know for sure that Turley advocates violence against homosexual males who have different political views and dare to have a smug smirky face when they effortlessly come out on top in a discussion despite massive efforts to smear him. Worse than that, she argues that a woman not punching her male in the face when they lose a debate is in fact “very restrained”, thus suggesting that violence against men is not only justified, but in fact the default response for your average woman/feminist who loses an argument.
Like so many sexist Labour MPs, Turley is only in her position thanks to blatant discrimination against men, having been selected for her seat via a controversial all-women shortlist. She fits perfectly with other Labour stereotypes, with no local knowledge connection to her constituents, having been born hundreds of miles away in Dartford. She even lived in Islington at one point and such was local opposition to her that no less than ten local Labour Councillors strongly voiced their dissatisfaction and were even deselected for doing so!
Some digging by Richard Delingpole uncovered Turley’s “anti-violence” work, including support for the outrageously sexist “White Ribbon” campaign, an organisation claiming to oppose domestic violence. In reality, they only oppose one particular form of domestic violence, that being “men’s violence against women”, thus ignoring and marginalising all male victims, all homosexual victims not to mention child victims too.
So, thus far Turley’s “anti-violence” work is entirely compatible with her support for violence against Yiannopoulos. However, in July she tabled a Private Members Bill for MPs to “discuss the increasing number of cases of threats and abuse made over the internet”.
The Haryana Police in the last four days have busted five gangs who after laying a honeytrap lodged false rape cases against men to extort money from them.
As many as 15 people, including a couple and a brother-sister duo, were arrested from five districts in this connection.
Incidentally, the series of alleged false cases has come to the fore at a time when the state has been witnessing a spate of crimes against women and minor girls, with cases of gang-rapes and murders reported from Jind, Panipat, Faridabad, Hisar, Fatehabad and other districts in the last few days.
Senior police officials said while they were trying to ensure that crimes against women were properly addressed, they have also issued instructions to cops to identify women lodging false cases so they can be booked under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code for framing innocent men, wasting police’s time and bringing disrepute to the state.
In one such case, the Jhajjar police on Wednesday arrested a gang of three women and one man who had been threatening a Najafgarh youth of lodging a false rape case against him if he failed to give them ₹1.5 lakh. The police said the victim had filed a complaint that he was befriended recently by one of the accused women and she called him to her residence in Jhajjar on the pretext of some work. At her house, she was joined by two other women and a man who forcefully made his obscene video and demanded ₹1.5 lakh from him.
Jhajjar superintendent of police (SP) B Satheesh Balan said they prepared a raiding team that caught the accused red-handed while the victim was handing them money.
In Rohtak district, the police arrested a brother-sister duo on Wednesday for demanding ₹95 lakh from a city-based contractor to withdraw a false case they had filed against 19 members of his family. The accused duo, Ravi and Shalu, were trying to cash in on contractor Mahender’s illicit relationship with their sister Meenakshi.
On Tuesday, the Bhiwani police had arrested a woman and a man who were demanding ₹6.5 lakh and a 150-square yard plot from Suresh of Tosham to withdraw the ‘false’ rape case they had filed against him. The accused had on January 9 lodged a case of rape and violence under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against Suresh. Acting on Suresh’s complaint, the police caught the two red-handed while accepting the money.
In yet another case, the Sirsa police had on Monday arrested five members of a gang, including two women, who were demanding ₹10 lakh from a person after making his obscene video.
The Jind police had on Sunday arrested a Punjab couple who was demanding ₹25 lakh from Narwana village youth to withdraw a rape case against him, under which he was lodged in jail from past two months.
While data shows crime against women is on a rise in Haryana, a police study analyzing the crime incidents of a particular period found that every 3 in 10 rape cases registered in the state turn out to be false during investigation.
BOXX: False rape and extortion
Jan 17, Jhajjar: 3 women among 4 held for making obscene video of youth, demanding Rs 1.5 lakh
Jan 17, Rohtak: Brother-sister duo held for demanding Rs 95 lakh from contractor to withdraw false case
Jan 16, Bhiwani: Woman among 2 arrested for demanding Rs 6.5 lakh and 150 sq yard plot to withdraw false rape case
Jan 15, Sirsa: 2 women among 5 arrested for making obscene video of man, demanding Rs 10 lakh
Jan 14, Jind: Punjab couple arrested for demanding Rs 25 lakh from youth to withdraw false rape case