Judge slams Met Police after Liam Allan cleared in rape trial

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Judge slams Met Police after Liam Allan cleared in rape trial

A student has described going through "mental torture" after a rape case against him was thrown out in court because police had failed to hand over more than 40,000 messages from his accuser.

Liam Allan, 22, faced nearly two years of hell as well as the prospect of up to 20 years in prison after being charged with multiple counts of rape and sexual assault by Met Police. He claimed the sex had been consensual and the woman had acted maliciously because he would not see her again after he started university.

A report issued in July by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary said even unused items of evidence must be reviewed by police "to see whether it is capable of undermining the prosecution case or assisting the defence case", adding: "If either factor applies it must be disclosed to the defence". It was then revealed police had a computer disk containing 40,000 messages from the woman, showing she had pestered Allan for "casual sex", told friends how much she enjoyed it with him and discussed her fantasies of being raped and having violent sex.

Mr Allan faced a possible jail term of 12 years and being put on the sex offenders register for life had he been found guilty.

The Met Police said it was "urgently reviewing this investigation".

"I read them through the night and into the next morning. I felt completely isolated at every stage of the process", he said.

He told the BBC his life had been "torn away" by the process, which included being on bail for two years.

Acquitting Mr Allan of all charges, judge Peter Gower said the CPS should be considering the matter at the "very highest level".

However, when a new prosecution barrister took over the case just one day before the trial began, the phone records were handed over.

And Scotland Yard said today it is carrying out an "urgent assessment" after the rape prosecution collapsed due to the late disclosure of evidence which undermined the case. There was a bad failure in disclosure which was inexcusable.

Speaking later, he said detectives had previously told him the sexual messages were "too personal" to share.

The barrister, of Furnival Chambers, said Mr Allan's prosecution would have been "nipped in the bud" in light of the information, which was taken from the claimant in January 2016.

The CPS said police provided more detail in Mr Allan's case in November that was reviewed and meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.

"Mr Allan leaves the courtroom an innocent man without a stain on his character".

Allan's lawyers had frequently been denied access to the woman's phone records by police, who believed it would offer nothing of interest for the prosecution or defence.

Mr Allan's mother Lorraine, 46, said: "In the current climate, in these sorts of cases, you are guilty until you can prove you are innocent".

Scotland Yard said it was "urgently reviewing" the investigation into Mr Allan and will be working with the CPS to understand what took place.

"We will now be conducting a management review together with the Metropolitan Police to examine the way in which this case was handled".

Mr Hayes added: "The policeman wasn't thinking at all". Both work hard but are badly under-resourced.

"The CPS are under bad pressure, as are the police".

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