Tag: Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

Latest Violent Crime Figures Published

Image of blue and white police tape that reads police

According to recorded police figures for England and Wales, violent crime * has risen by a total of 24% in the 12 months to June compared to the previous year.

However, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the 24% increase in violent crime was essentially a result of increased coverage and improvements to recording practices. Yet the ONS did conclude that there had been “a small but genuine increase in some categories of violent crime”.

Violent crime figures for July 2015 – June 2016

The number of murders committed in England and Wales increased to 681, a rise of 20% compared the previous year. This is the highest recorded level in five years. However, the murder rate does include the 96 individuals who lost their lives at Hillsborough in 1989 after the official inquests came to an end this year.

When the 96 Hillsborough deaths are excluded, the data shows 584 people were killed in England and Wales in the year to June – just 3% rise on the previous 12 months. This works out as 10 people in every million, which is lower than a decade ago (14 per million).

Police figures confirm that the number of reported sexual crimes, including rape and sexual assault, has increased by 14% compared to the previous year. Police and prosecutors believe that the rise in reported cases indicates that people are more willing to report sexual attacks after recent high profile historical cases have come to light, such as the Jimmy Saville sexual abuse scandal.

The figures also show a 9% rise in knife crime and a 7% rise in gun crime, the latter mainly due to an increase in offences involving imitation weapons and BB gun-type air pistols.

Decrease in Overall Crime

This latest report on crime in England and Wales by the ONS includes offences recorded by the police, as well as the results of the independent Crime Survey for England and Wales.

Figures from the Crime Survey show that the overall crime rate actually decreased by 1%. The survey estimated there was a total of 6.5 million incidents in the 12 months to June compared with the previous year.

Estimates from the Crime Survey also showed the proportion of adults who were victims of sexual assaults in the previous year had not changed considerably.

The ONS also published its second ever estimate for online crime, including fraud and computer misuse offences. In total, 5.6 million incidents were recorded.

John Flatley of the ONS said:

“Violent crime covers a wide spectrum from minor assaults, harassment and abuse that result in no physical harm to the victim through to incidents of wounding and murder.

“The latest figures present a complex picture, with the crime survey for England and Wales estimating similar levels of violent crime to that seen in recent years, but the number of offences recorded by the police increasing.

“We think the rise in the police figures is due to a combination of factors. First, the expansion of the police series to cover new harassment offences. Second, a greater proportion of incidents reported to the police being recorded as crimes.

“At the same time, the crime survey has shown a greater proportion of victims of violent crime reporting to the police. Finally, it appears there has been a small but genuine increase in some categories of violent crime.”

*The term violent crime covers a wide range of incidents from minor assaults, harassment and abuse that may not result in any physical harm to the victim, to incidents of wounding and murder.

Criminal Injuries – Expert Advice

Criminal injuries compensation may be available if you have experienced physical trauma or psychological trauma as a result of a violent crime. Speaking to a member of our team about your criminal injury may be the first time that you have spoken to anybody about your experience – this is common among our clients. We guarantee complete confidentiality throughout your claim.

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to victims or their families who have been the innocent victims of violent crime. The Scheme is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and is governed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Guardian; BBC News; Guardian

Top Barristers Discuss Ched Evans Case

Image of bronze statue of justice

Leading criminal barristers have come forward to express their concern that the ‘over-reaction’ of some women’s rights campaigners following the Ched Evans verdict will ‘scare’ victims of sexual assault from speaking up.

Section 41 & New Evidence

Evans, a Welsh international footballer, was convicted of raping a nineteen year old woman in 2011. He served half of a five year sentence and after his release a campaign was launched to find new evidence that would eventually led to his acquittal. The court of appeal then ordered a retrial, in which the new evidence – testimony from two of the complainant’s former partners regarding her sexual history – would be heard.

In court, the two new witnesses gave evidence that the complainants past sexual behaviour with them, including the language that she used, was very similar to the account that Evans gave describing how she had acted with him during consensual sex.

At the centre of the appeal was section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. This section of the Act stops a complainant’s sexual history being used in court apart from in exceptional circumstances.

“Created a rapists’ charter”

A number of women’s rights campaigners have suggested that this decision, to allow the defence to use the complainant’s sexual history, has set the law back thirty years and created a ‘rapists’ charter’.

Women’s rights activist Julie Bindel said following Evans’ acquittal last week:

“The Ched Evans acquittal, and the way his defence was run, has led to a rapists’ charter.”

While Vera Baird, a former solicitor general for England and Wales and now the Northumbria police and crime commissioner, claimed the decision has pushed the law back by three decades.

“Counterproductive”

However in a recent article in the Guardian, the chair and chair of the Criminal Bar Association have expressed their concern that this view is ‘counterproductive’ and will undermine the confidence victims of sexual crimes have in the laws that are in place to protect them.

Chair of the Criminal Bar Association, Francis FitsGibbon QC, said:

“There’s been a huge over-reaction to what this case means. The answer is not very much. The thing that troubles me is people saying it sets the law back 30 years and it’s a rapists’ charter. That is what is going to make people think they daren’t report what’s happened to them. Those cries of anguish are a self-fulfilling prophesy.”

He added:

“The law on section 41 makes it very, very difficult to introduce evidence of someone’s previous sexual behaviour unless the judge is persuaded it would result in an unfair verdict if it wasn’t put.

“There’s an understandable emotional reaction when something like this happens. When you step back and look at what it actually does it’s an over-reaction.”

On Baird’s stance, FitzGibbon went on to say:

“Vera has for many years been a redoubtable champion of women’s rights and I’m sure she genuinely believes this a backward step for the rights of women in the criminal justice system and in society. But I happen to disagree with her. I don’t think it is. I think the language that she and others have used is counterproductive and is probably more likely to scare people off than the law itself.”

“Highlights important issues”

Vice-chair of the Criminal Bar Association and an expert on the law around sexual offences, Angela Rafferty QC, said:

“Sometimes cases involving celebrities can be a blessing in highlighting important issues.”

But she added:

“It is a disservice to victims of sex offenders to misinform them that the Ched Evans case has put the law back 30 years or has made it a rapists’ charter. That case has not changed the law. The law forbids questions about the previous sexual behaviour of a complainant in sexual offence cases, except in highly unusual circumstances where the trial would be unfair, and a wrongful conviction might result, if the evidence was not given.

“The court of appeal thought Evans’s was such a case. Cases like Evans’s will remain wholly exceptional. There is no relaxation of the rule against this type of questioning.”

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: Guardian; Legal Cheek

MP’s Aide Arrested on Suspicion of Rape

An image of the Palace of Westminster in London in the evening

A Tory MP’s aide has been arrested following an accusation of rape.

According to Metropolitan police the 23 year old male, an aide for Tory MP Craig Mackinlay, was arrested after the alleged attack occurred in the early hours of Friday morning in Westminster.

A spokesman for the Mr Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet, said:

“On Friday morning, Mr Mackinlay was made aware of an allegation against a member of his staff.

“Following a request made by the police and parliamentary services he granted full access to his Westminster office. Mr Mackinlay is currently awaiting further information from the police.”

Police officers were called to Westminster once the alleged victim spoke out. Officers have confirmed that the man has been released on bail until January as they carry out their investigation.

A Met spokesman said:

“Detectives from the sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command are investigating an allegation of rape at the Houses of Parliament in the early hours of Friday 14 October.

“A 23-year-old man was arrested that same day on suspicion of rape. He has been bailed pending further inquiries to a date in mid-January 2017.”

Parliament is “working closely” with police, a spokesperson for the House of Commons said:

“We are aware of an incident on the parliamentary estate, which is being investigated by the Metropolitan police service. Parliament is working closely with the police on their investigation and we cannot comment further while this is ongoing.”

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Guardian; BBC News

Ched Evans Cleared of Rape Following Retrial

Image of the front of Cardiff Crown Court

The former Welsh International, Ched Evans, has today been cleared of raping a nineteen year old woman following a retrial at Cardiff Crown Court.

Evans, who served half a five year sentence after being convicted of rape in 2012, had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal earlier this year.

Jurors took two and a half hours to acquit Evans, after they heard new evidence relating to the claimant that surfaced last year.

Mrs Justice Davies told Evans after the decision had been read out:

“Mr Evans, you are discharged and you can leave the dock.”

Evans’ solicitor, Shaun Draycott, read a statement from the 27 year old which said that he was “overwhelmed with relief” following the verdict. He thanked his family and friends, “most notably my fiancee, Natasha, who chose, perhaps incredibly, to support me in my darkest hour”.

The statement concluded:

“Whilst my innocence has now been established, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone who might have been affected by the events of the night in question.”

Recap: Conviction, Appeal & Retrial

In 2012 Evans was found guilty of raping a 19 year old woman at a hotel in Rhyl, North Wales. The 27 year old was released from jail two and a half years later.

The ex-Welsh international admitted having sex with the woman, however he has always maintained his innocence, claiming the encounter was consensual.

Following a ten month investigation by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), responsible for investigating possible miscarriages of justice, it was revealed in October 2015 that new evidence had surfaced. Following the announcement of the new evidence, which the CCRC said ‘raises a real possibility the Court of Appeal may now quash the conviction’, Evans’ case was referred to the Court of Appeal.

Lady Justice Hallet later announced that Evans’ conviction had been quashed, but that a retrial would take place.

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: The Guardian

Donald Trump: Sexual Assault Allegations

Image of Donald J. Trump addressing crowds at a rally in Georgia

Multiple women have come forward to accuse US presidential candidate Donald Trump of sexual assault and inappropriate behaviour.

“Locker room banter”

The claims follow video footage that has emerged in which Mr Trump claims that he can grab women’s genitals with freedom. In the 2005 instalment of Access Hollywood that was leaked to the Washington Post, Mr Trump can be seen laughing with host Billy Bush about how being famous allowed him to kiss and grope women without their consent.

Mr Trump dismissed the comments as being “locker-room banter” and during Sunday’s debate with Hillary Clinton he insisted that he had not actually done any of the things he discussed.

Multiple Allegations

So far, the list of allegations made against Trump includes:

• An incident in which Mr Trump appears to be sexualising a ten year old girl.
• Two women who claim that Mr Trump groped or kissed them without consent, one on a first class flight.
• A People magazine reporter who claims that Mr Trump forced himself on her in 2005.
• A woman who has alleged that Trump groped her at an event at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.
• Two Miss USA contestants who claimed that Mr Trump knowingly walked in on them as they were naked in a dressing room.

The encounter regarding the 10 year old girl was brought to light in video footage of a 1992 Entertainment Tonight Christmas special in which Mr Trump appeared, he was 46 at the time.

The show was filmed at Trump Tower and in the video Mr Trump asks the young if she is going up the escalator. When she tells him she is, he turns to the camera and says:

“I’m going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?”

New York Times

This week, the New York Times (NYT) published the stories of two women, both who claim that Mr Trump touched them inappropriately.

74 year old Jessica Leeds said that over thirty years ago, she sat next to Mr Trump in the first-class cabin of a New York-bound flight. According to Jessica, who had not met Mr Trump prior to this encounter, 45 minutes after take-off Trump lifted the arm rest, grabbed her breasts and attempted to put his hand up her skirt. She told the NYT that “he was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere.”

The newspaper also told the story of Rachel Crooks. Rachel claims that when she was 22 and a receptionist at a real estate investment and development company located in Trump Tower, she said hello to Mr Trump while they were in an elevator together.

According to Rachel, they shook hands, but instead of letting go, Mr Trump began to kiss her on her cheek and then on her mouth. She told the NYT:

“I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”

Other claims

Claims also emerged this week from a reporter for People Magazine, Natasha Stoynoff, who alleges that Trump forced himself on her in 2005. She wrote:

“He was pushing me against the wall, and forcing his tongue down my throat.”

She claims that Trump later told her:

“You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?”

A similar story was published by the Palm Beach Post, in which it is alleged that Mr Trump groped Mindy McGillivray in 2003 at his Mar-a-Lago estate, in Palm Beach, Florida.

Miss USA

A former Miss USA contestant claims that in 2001, Donald Trump deliberately walked in on her and another contestant while they were naked and getting dressed for a rehearsal. The woman, who has asked to stay anonymous, alleges that just before he entered, she heard security outside the dressing room warn someone approaching the door that the women inside were naked. She said that Trump’s attitude, she said, seemed to be: “I can do this because I can.” Adding:

“Mr Trump just barged right in, didn’t say anything, stood there and stared at us.”

“He didn’t walk in and say, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, I was looking for someone,’”

“He walked in, he stood and he stared. He was doing it because he knew that he could.”

A second Miss USA contestant from the 2001 competition has also come forward to accuse Mr Trump of inappropriate behaviour in a separate incident. Tasha Dixon, the former Miss Arizona, recalled an incident in which Trump came “waltzing in” to a room while numerous contestants were half naked or in a state of undress.

According to Dixon, many of the contestants’ very first encounter with Mr Trump would occur while they were naked.

“He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless.

“We were naked or half naked in a very physically vulnerable position,”

“And then to have the pressure of the people that worked for him telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him, get his attention.”

The unnamed contestant added that she did not report Mr Trump’s behaviour at the time, as her position was ’too tenuous’.

“This was my boss. I’m there to represent my state, my town, my reputation on one of the most prestigious stages on the planet,”

“I had not a lot of experience under my belt. And it was horrifying … It was extremely uncomfortable from there forward.”

She also said that until she saw Miss Dixon’s interview, she did not know that this could have happened to other contestants.

“It’s important for people to know that this has been a personality trait of his for a long time,”

“He completely exerted his power and the control that he had … And I do believe that kind of behavior perpetuates rape culture and makes young boys think they can behave that way.”

“I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant”

Trump has previously boasted during a 2005 segment of the Howard Stern show, about being able to view beauty contestants naked. In a tape obtained by CNN, Mr Trump said:

“I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else,”

“And you know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore I’m inspecting it. ‘Is everyone OK?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”

It has also been reported that that several teen beauty queens from the 1997 Miss Teen USA claim that Trump entered a shared dressing room while several of them were naked. One girl was just 15 years old at the time.

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: The Guardian

Teenager Arrested on Suspicion of Assault

A teenage girl has been arrested after a video in which she is seen assaulting another school girl was shared on social media.

Incident

The footage, which was posted on Snapchat and later on Facebook, shows the victim – a 13 year old – being repeatedly kicked and punched while her attacker is cheered on by onlookers. The attack, which lasted 25 minutes, took place on the afternoon of Monday 26 September in Tamworth, Staffordhisre.

Police arrested a 15 year old girl on suspicion of assault in relation to the attack on Wednesday 28 September, after they viewed the footage.

A school attended by three pupils thought to be involved condemned the behaviour in a statement which read:

“This was a disgusting and vicious assault that took place away from school on Monday evening and involved three students.

“Despite this taking place away from school, we have not hesitated in taking the firmest action possible against those who perpetrated it and those who stood by and encouraged it.

“We are assisting the police with their enquiries and will ensure that all those who behaved so appallingly are brought to justice.”

According to officers from Tamworth’s local policing team, the victim is at home and recovering after sustaining minor injuries during the attack. A spokesperson said:

“The victim’s mother is fully supportive of Staffordshire Police’s investigation. Officers are treating the matter seriously and taking positive action and the victim’s mother is fully supportive of Staffordshire Police’s investigation.

“The victim was treated in hospital for minor injuries and is recovering at home safe and well.”

Criminal Injuries – Expert Advice

Criminal injuries compensation may be available if you have experienced physical trauma or psychological trauma as a result of a violent crime. Speaking to a member of our team about your criminal injury may be the first time that you have spoken to anybody about your experience – this is common among our clients. We guarantee complete confidentiality throughout your claim.

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to victims or their families who have been the innocent victims of violent crime. The Scheme is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and is governed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: BBC News; Mirror

Woman Attacked on Manchester Street

Arial image of Manchester city centre

A woman was robbed and raped after being pinned to the ground in Manchester city centre last week.

Incident

The victim, an 18 year old, was approached by a man in the early hours of Wednesday 21st September, before she was pinned down by both a man and a woman, whilst a second female robbed her.

The teenager was then raped by the male assailant before all three offenders fled the scene.

A detective from Greater Manchester police’s serious sexual offences unit, DI Dave Moores said:

“This was a horrendous attack on a young woman which has, understandably, left her extremely distressed.

“We are providing her with support from specially trained officers and have launched a full investigation.”

Police appeal

Both female offenders are described as having a Manchester accent and their hair styled into ponytails.

The first woman, who restrained the victim during the robbery, is said to be of mixed race, slim and around 18 years old.

The woman who committed the robbery is also described as mixed race and to be in her early 20s.

The male offender is described as white, of slim build and in his early 20s. He is also described to have a clean shaven face and was wearing sports clothing at the time of the incident.

Greater Manchester police are asking for anyone, who may have seen group matching the description of the offenders between 2am and 3am on Wednesday 21st September around Major Street and the city’s Gay Village area, to contact them.

Anybody with information should contact police on 0161 856 1911 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need. More detailed information regarding sexual abuse claims can be found here.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: Guardian

Rugby Player Jailed for Grievous Bodily Harm

Image of rugby player's legs wearing blue and black stripey socks on a rugby field

A 25 year old rugby player has been jailed after he kicked an opponent so hard that he was left disfigured.

Incident

Members of Derby based Leesbrook Rugby Club were scheduled to play against Nottingham side Paviors on 3rd October 2015.

However when 35 year old David Smith scored a try for Paviors, John Scowby – captain of the Leesbrook side – proceeded to kick Smith in the head with such force his face caved in.

Derby Crown Court heard how Scowby stood over his victim and said “Take that” before delivering the blow, afterwards telling Smith “I owed you”.

Disfigured

Mr Smith has been left disfigured by the attack and has already had major surgery. He now faces a further £10,000 in dental bills. In a victim impact statement, Smith said:

“Everyone now associates me with my disfigured face and not the good player that I was.”

Sonal Ahya, prosecuting, said:

“Without warning or provocation, the defendant kicked Mr Smith in the mouth, saying, “Take that”. One of his front teeth dropped out, there was blood everywhere, his gums and teeth were concaved.”

Sentencing

When questioned by police, Scowby described the incident as an “accident” but later admitted grievous bodily harm.
Alwyn Jones, defending, added:

“It was a moment of madness – out of character.”

Scowby, a 25 year old construction worker, was jailed for a total of 16 months.

Criminal Injuries – Expert Advice

Criminal injuries compensation may be available if you have experienced physical trauma or psychological trauma as a result of a violent crime. Speaking to a member of our team about your criminal injury may be the first time that you have spoken to anybody about your experience – this is common among our clients. We guarantee complete confidentiality throughout your claim.

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to victims or their families who have been the innocent victims of violent crime. The Scheme is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and is governed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Daily Mail

Sexual Abuse: New Claims Against Late Singer

Image of Michael Jackson circa 1992

According to new legal documents, one of Michael Jackson’s alleged victims has come forward to claim that Jackson ran one of the “most sophisticated child sexual abuse” operations in history.

Alleged Abuse

Wade Robson has previously alleged that the late singer abused him when he was seven years old. However, the choreographer later denied any abuse when called to testify during a 2005 molestation trial in which Jackson was accused of abusing a thirteen year old boy.

At the time Jackson’s former housekeeper, Blanca Francia, said the she witnessed Robson and Jackson in the shower together.

Jackson was cleared of all 14 counts of allegations against him in 2005 but Robson later sued the late singer’s estate in May 2013, accusing him of molesting him for seven years.

At the time, the claims were labelled “less than credible” by Jackson’s estate.

New Allegations

The new claims feature in an amended complaint filed by Robson against two of Jackson’s companies, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures. Claiming the star’s inner circle served a ‘dual purpose’, Robson alleges that those close to the star had a process in place for seeking out and enticing children to Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

Robson’s lawyer, Vince Finaldi, reportedly wrote the following in the motion:

“The thinly-veiled, covert second purposes of these businesses was to operate as a child sex abuse operation.

“Specifically designed to locate, attract, lure and seduce child sexual abuse victims.”

Finaldi claimed that Jackson’s company would send a limousine to pick families up and take them to paid for accommodation. He also reportedly would offer gifts.

“MJJ Productions operated the most sophisticated child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation operation the world has known.”

Neverland Ranch

According to the complaint, Robson first met Jackson in Australia after winning a dance competition run by MJJ Productions. Robson was just five years old at the time.

Robson and his family were invited to stay at the Neverland Ranch and did so two years after their first meeting. However, Robson claims that while his family slept elsewhere, he shared the superstar’s bed. Robson claims this was the first time he was abused by Jackson.

In the newly amended complaint, Robson claims he was abused by the late singer for the next seven years. He alleges that once he hit puberty, Jackson was “no longer as interested in him sexually”. Finaldi told New York Daily News:

“Make no mistake, Neverland Ranch was nothing but a well-orchestrated trap.

“It was custom-built to attract kids so he could groom them and decide which to sexually abuse.”

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: MSN.com

Brock Turner is Released after Three Months

Last week the former Stanford University swimmer and Ohio native, Brock Turner, was released from prison. 21 year old Turner was released early for good behaviour after serving half of a six-month sentence for rape and sexual assault.

Activists and survivors of rape and sexual assault congregated outside a local courthouse in San Jose last week to criticise the short sentence, which is viewed by many as an insult to victims everywhere.

Assault on college campus

In January 2015, two Swedish students spotted a man ‘thrusting’ on top of a motionless woman next to a dumpster near Stanford’s Kappa Alpha fraternity. They intervened and found the woman unconscious and partially dressed. The students held the man until police arrived and made an arrest.

Criminal charges

Prosecutors filed criminal charges against the man, who was revealed to be Brock Turner, a college athlete. Turner faced a maximum of fourteen years in prison after a jury found him guilty of ‘assault with intent to rape and sexually penetrating an intoxicated and unconscious person’.

However the judge sentencing Turner, Aaron Persky – also a former Stanford athlete, was allowed under California law to make an exception if he deemed the case ‘unusual’. The judge expressed sympathy for Turner, telling the court room at the time of sentencing that Turner was less morally culpable at the time of the attack as he was drunk. Persky also added that Turner had suffered enough in terms of the media attention the case had garnered.

Victim’s statement

Following sentencing, the victim released a 7,000 word statement in which she gave a graphic and disturbing account of the attack and the aftermath of the drawn-out trial. The victim points to the fact that Turner’s status as an athlete should not have had an impact on his sentence, she wrote:

“The fact that Brock was a star athlete at a prestigious university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a strong cultural message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class.”

After the release of the victim’s statement, Turner continued to claim that the encounter was consensual and was a result of a copious amount of alcohol. His father even went so far as to call the assault ’20 minutes of action’.
However, the victim’s account of the attack and its affects soon went viral, leading to wide spread hatred of both Turner and Persky.

Demands for recall

Many have called for the recall of Persky and an official campaign was set up by Michele Landis Dauber, a Stanford law professor and family friend of the victim. The judge recently removed himself from the criminal court following the repeated accusations that he has failed to treat violence against women seriously.

In a recent speech by Dauber, she called on the state attorney general to look into Persky’s actions regarding another case, in which he delayed the sentencing of a domestic violence offender so that he could continue to play football in Hawaii.

Persky has not responded to repeated requests for comment and recently launched a campaign to fight the recall. The judge has expressed that he is a strong advocate for “judicial independence” and that he has a “reputation for being fair to both sides”.

New state legislation

The case of Turner and the assault has inspired new state legislation in California, which states that prison is mandatory for those found guilty of sexually assaulting unconscious victims.

Co-founder of the Stanford Association of Students for Sexual Assault Prevention, Stephanie Pham, said that more survivors are coming forward and that she hopes this will help society to recognise the severity of assault.

“Rape isn’t some regrettable act. Rape is a crime. And the fact that that mentality is changing in some way right now is great, but it’s obviously not enough.”

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL). More detailed information regarding sexual abuse claims can be found here.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Guardian