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Guest Blog

We're delighted to include a guest blog here from Clare Dimyon, on the subject of media reporting of rape cases


Rajeev Syal’s article (4Feb) reads: Police Chief to meet Lord Britten's Widow & Apologise over "False rape claim".  Later it is clear that there is no evidence of a “false rape claim” only that the Met has concluded that there is “no case to answer over a 45-year-old rape allegation four months before Brittan’s death ”, very different in legal terms


Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe may/may not be visiting Lord Brittan’s widow later this month but he will NOT be apologising for a "false rape claim" which involves evidence and a charge of "perverting the course of justice".  There is NO evidence that there is no greater incident of “false rape claims” than for any other crime, (about 2%) but substantial reasons to think it may be substantially less since 85% of sexual offences are never reported.


What Sir Bernard Hogan- Howe will be apologising for the Met Police's chronically bad handling of the case which included  failing to tell him before he died that there was "no case to answer". As the article says: “Lady Brittan was only informed in October”, which is why he is apologising to her directly.


By conflating these two very different evidential states, Rajeev Syal has called this woman a liar for which I do not believe there is any evidence. In the absence of such evidence, this article has unwittingly reinforced "Myths and Stereotypes" of rape and sexual violence (and those who have been) those held by British jurors as described in 2014 by no less than the Director of Public Prosecutions and ACPO (Sexual Violence).


Is it any wonder that rape complainants cannot expect a "fair trial" nor "freedom from discrimination of jury members” as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights., when even The Guardian is misreporting rape in this way?



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