Woman at centre of Sunderland sex abuse case loses human rights appeal bid

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A WOMAN who sued the Crown Prosecution Service for breaching her human rights after a trial against a man who allegedly abused her as a teenager collapsed, has failed in her bid for compensation.

The alleged victim told police she had been groomed and sexually abused from the by the man, who was then aged in his 40s.

She said the incidents had all happened in the Sunderland area.

Her claims were investigated and the man was charged with offences of sexual assault. But he was cleared just as he was about to stand trial at Newcastle Crown Court, after it emerged that she had ‘edited’ her teenage diaries - which were used as evidence - and prosecuting lawyers dropped the case.

The woman sued the CPS, with her lawyers arguing the decision to abandon the trial breached her human rights by subjecting her to ‘inhuman or degrading treatment’.

During a hearing at the High Court, in London, they said the prosecution’s conclusion she would not be a ‘reliable witness’, after discovering she had deleted passages from the diaries, was ‘irrational’.

But, despite describing the collapse of the case as ‘highly regrettable’, Mr Justice Simon dismissed her claim, saying the CPS was not at fault for what happened and there was no breach of the woman’s human rights.

The judge said the alleged victim had handed her teenage diaries to police, but had ‘deleted’ certain passages which related to other people and which she said were ‘too personal’ for her to reveal.

The police did not tell the CPS that the woman had concealed some parts of her diaries and prosecuting lawyers were initially only given photocopies, so did not realise they had been edited.

However, on the first day of the trial, in 2011, the defendant’s lawyers saw the originals and noticed there had been passages deleted.

Prosecuting lawyers spoke to the alleged victim about the diaries and she said she had deleted the passages and would refuse to answer questions about some of them if asked during the trial.

Having heard this, the lawyers decided to withdraw the case. The judge said the woman was ‘very unhappy’ about the decision and said she had changed her mind and would now answer questions.

But, as she had previously said that being questioned about the missing passages would ‘destroy her life’, the lawyers told the judge they would be dropping the case.