Look at all the words in the picture that relates to 'EVIDENCE'. Fingerprints, DNA, forensics, witnesses, crime scene...... None of these words matter in allegations of historic sexual assault. The prosecution no longer have to prove “Beyond Reasonable Doubt” that the offence occurred. The civil burden of proof has instead been inserted into Criminal Trials, leaving the jury to make their decision based on the ‘Balance of Probabilities”. Which is a much lower burden of proof, whereby no evidence is required to prove the offence and no corroboration is needed for the accusation. The need for corroboration was removed by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 section 32 & 33.
The legal team do not have the time to dissect the statements and we do not have deep enough pockets to pay for them to do it. I therefore knew it was going to be my job to try to push my husband into overcoming the feeling of trauma and wanting to hide and hope it all goes away, into someone who is going to fight for the truth to be heard. After I had given him time and space to read all the statements again, the job of forensically dissecting what she was accusing him of started.
We spend weekend after weekend, night after night, hour after hour, going through every line of the police interviews. Looking for anything where he could say it wasn't like that or that didn't happen or I wasn't there on that occasion. Due to the vagueness of the actual time that things were alleged to have happened, this was difficult but we never gave up and in the 8 months up to the trial, I had read the statement more times than I care to remember and know every detail in it.
As it was 40 years ago, most paperwork had been lost and therefore you were relying on finding people who were around at that time to verify what things were like or what happened. Up to this point the only persons who knew this was happening was his children, Harry was so disgusted by what he was being accused of he understandably didn't want to tell people, however now he needed peoples help and therefore he had to start talking to people.
Talking to his immediate family was difficult, we weren't allowed to discuss details of the case because it could be seen to be influencing the witness. We therefore just had to ask them specific questions and to ask them to write their response into a witness statement. Naturally the immediate reaction of anyone we told was shock and disbelief, they also always had lots of questions which we were either unable legally to answer or actually we just didn't have an answer.
I remember talking to different members of his family at different times, often without Harry and asking them questions which I had and they always gave me a consistent version of detail of events or situations. This was another reassurance that what Harry was telling me was right.
Harry did a great job of tracking down old work colleagues, bosses, friends and neighbours, most of which he hadn't seen for over 30 years. I started getting witness statement after witness statement into my inbox from people I had no idea who they were. The consistent theme was that they believed he hadn't done anything and their recollection of detail from decades ago matched with Harry's. I compiled all of the signed statements and sent them to his barrister with details of who they were and how they connected to the case.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!