Benjamin Knight addressed jurors on putting aside assumptions, prejudices, and preconceptions about rape in a recent rape trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
The case involved an alleged sexual assault and rape in a bedsit. On the face of it, it appeared to be one word against another.
Despite text messages and Facebook messages being recovered – appearing to show contemporaneous complaints of the Defendant groping the Complainant – the jury heard how there was another possible explanation for the claims being false.
Ben Knight said, “This type of case requires a sensitive but matter-of-fact approach. Members of Central Chambers are already ahead of the crowd in terms of the Vulnerable Witness training; this is where that training is crucial. It also serves to demonstrate that the ‘new’ approach is not a significant hindrance to a proper defence of an innocent defendant. I am pleased with this result.
A young man’s life was nearly ruined and it was, no doubt, down to friends of the defendant and the complainant that the jury got to the bottom of what happened. But also, the availability of Facebook and SMS messages was invaluable. They allowed the jury an insight into what was in the mind of the defendant and that of the complainant at the material times. It is something of a new experience to see messages that were sent, on the Complainant’s account, at a time when she was being attacked. It was relieving that other messages existed from the same time that cast vast doubts upon the veracity of the allegations.”
Central Chambers has a criminal team with experience in defending sexual offences – both historic and recent.