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Archive for the ‘Rape’ Category

Sexual Offence Solicitors Concerned by RASSO Report

sexual offence solicitors

Katie Forrest of Forrest Williams

 

Sexual Offence Solicitors Concerned by RASSO Report

 

Specialist sexual offence solicitors, Forrest Williams, recently reviewed a concerning report of the Rape and Serious Sexual Offence (RASSO) units at the Crown Prosecution Service.

 

Given the severity of the cases that are prepared and managed by these units, this review is worrying for sexual offence solicitors like Forrest Williams.

 

Innocent people are charged with serious sexual offences and from the beginning of the investigations stand to lose their reputations, careers, families and freedom.  It is vital that the procedures used to investigate such allegations are followed correctly and without delay.

 

However, this Rape and Serious Sexual Offence review highlights that despite minimum standards for case work on Rape and Serious Sexual Offences cases being drawn up as a guideline to ensure consistency across cases and units, different working models have been developed across different units leading to poor compliance with the minimum standards set out!

 

Furthermore, while Rape and Serious Sexual Offence units should be staffed with rape specialist prosecutors and paralegal staff, this has not happened, and even when such specialists are in place, they are in need of refresher training that they have not received. 

 

The prosecution service has been shown to be under-resourced for the current volume of work they must do, with “lack of time” being described as an issue for almost all rape specialists and charging decisions taking an average of 53 days instead of the target of 28 days.

 

It transpires that case work on rape and serious sexual offence cases is not always being handled by specialists in dedicated units and early investigative advice has been found to be ineffective when used.

 

What does this Rape and Serious Sexual Offence report mean if you are being investigated for a rape or serious sexual offence?

 

It means that your whole life depends on the work of agencies who are overstretched, who do not have the time necessary to fully investigate all avenues, and who are probably either not specialists or do not have the up-to-date training needed even if they are.

 

It means your fate is in the hands of government departments who have minimum working standards they should follow to ensure your case is handled correctly, but who do not meet those minimum working standards.

 

It means early investigation work that could potentially avoid you being charged for an offence you are innocent of is often not being done and, if it is, is proving to be ineffective.

 

It means that if you are being investigated for a rape or serious sexual offence, you will need dedicated specialist sexual offence solicitors on your side to help even out this imbalance.

 

Forrest Williams are that dedicated team.

 

We only defend those accused of sexual offences who deny the allegations and whom we believe are innocent.  This means that we will fight against this injustice you are facing with passion, integrity and commitment.

 

Call us now to see how we can help you.

 

Need Urgent Advice? Call us now on 0800 1933 999

Tainted DNA Causes Unsafe Rape Convictions

Tainted DNA Causes Unsafe Rape Convictions

 

Tainted DNA Causes Unsafe Rape Convictions

 

Concerns have been raised by respected police doctors that DNA used to secure rape convictions may be tainted, leading to unsafe convictions.

 

Dr Steven Hopkins said he is desperately concerned that “there may well be some innocent person in prison who should not be there” and urged for old cases to be reviewed by criminal defence solicitors.

 

This comes as the Forensic Science Regulator drafts new guidance on the collection of intimate samples in rape cases due to allegations that doctors have been placed under pressure to work in ways that have actually been increasing the risks of contamination.

 

DNA is incredibly sensitive and vulnerable to being tainted, to the extent that asking the same doctor to take DNA samples from both the suspect and victim can pose a high residual risk.  There are many other procedural errors and contamination risks that can cause a DNA sample to become tainted.

 

Dr Hopkins further alleges that the new DNA 17 sampling technique is so sensitive, he considers that the risk of a sample being contaminated using this procedure is ‘very high’ – information that will be difficult to hear for families with a loved one in custody for a rape they have always denied.  This new focus can, however, provide hope for those families as it may present grounds for Appeal.

 

When thisevidence is presented innocently in a case, tainted DNA causes unsafe rape convictions.

 

If you have a historic rape conviction, or one of your loved ones are serving a sentence for a rape conviction while maintaining their innocence, you should have the case reviewed without delay.  Forrest Williams are specialist rape solicitors and our award-winning team would be delighted to help you review all options.

 

Call our dedicated legal team now on 01623 600645.

 

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Turning Sex Into A Crime: Do Rape Laws Go Too Far?

We were interested to read the article by barrister, Jon Holbrook, on Spiked Online regarding rape laws and the treatment of drunken, regrettable sex as the crime of rape.

 

The article says, amongst other things,

 

There is a line to be drawn between sex that is criminal and sex that lacks the criminal culpability to warrant a lengthy prison sentence. In recent years, that line has moved so that those who deserve the shameful tag ‘rapist’ are now joined by some who do not.

 

We support the basis of this article entirely, and this classification of men who take advantage of casual sexual encounters and end up facing charges of rape is a large part of the reason why the Forrest Williams team are so dedicated to defending innocent people against sexual offence charges.

 

Sex is not a crime.  Drunken sex is not a crime.  Drunken sex that you regret the next morning is not a crime.  Drunken sex that you regret when your partner finds out about it, is not a crime.

 

If you are being charged with a sexual offence, contact us now on 01623 600645.

 

We’ll fight for you, because we believe in you.

 

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