In the backdrop of the Jimmy Savile enquiry and Operation Yewtree, there has been increasing emphasis both by the police and Crown Prosecution Service into investigations of historic sexual abuse. Some of these allegations may stem back over 20 or 30 years and to all parties to these allegations, they can be particularly harrowing and traumatic events.
The complexities faced by the police investigators can be enormous and often assumptions are made in the absence of any evidence that would now be routinely gathered in the event that such allegations were made close to or near to in time when they actually took place. The police are rarely able to secure any form of forensic evidence relating to the offence, or linking the alleged offender to the scene of the alleged crime or to the alleged victim. Indeed, historically these matters were often overlooked on the basis that they were considered to be one person’s word against another. This has on occasions resulted in justice not being well served, whereby real crimes went even unreported or not investigated.
However, there are very real issues that now arise when these historic allegations are now being made. These are issues that someone now accused with these types of allegations must face when confronted with the suggestion that they may have committed an awful crime many years ago. Whilst some allegations maybe correct, as they are with all crimes, many may not be. The absence of any forensic evidence which may have once existed and may have undermined the allegation being made can be the most worrying and alarming state of affairs for anyone in that position.
We are regularly contacted by clients who may now be accused of something which took place many, many years ago. Understandably, these clients are bewildered, concerned about how they can go about defending their name, their reputation or protecting their innocence.
We are often asked: ”how can I prove I didn’t do it, it was over 20 years ago?”.
Of course, this is a difficult question to answer, every case is different, every case requires individual and bespoke attention, addressing the very nature of the allegation being made, the detail, where there are gaps. It is through the meticulous examination of the evidence in the context of past events as they existed then that it becomes possible to objectively assess these allegations so that they can be properly examined and tested.
Even in the absence of forensic evidence relating to the scene of the alleged offence many years ago, there are occasions when forensic or medical evidence can be gathered now to undermine the reliability of the complaint which is only now being made. At Lawtons Solicitors, we have successfully defended many of these types of allegations, notably allegations arising from investigations from incidents at former children’s homes and domestic circumstances.
In one particular case, we were able to gather medical evidence now which proved that even back then, all those years ago, the alleged offence would have been impossible based upon our client’s physical impediment.
If you or a family member have been accused or have found themselves under investigation by the authorities in connection with matters of this nature, you will find an experienced expert team of lawyers able to help you at Lawtons Solicitors.
Contact us now for immediate assistance.