QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
B e f o r e :
|T H E Q U E E N|
|ON THE APPLICATION OF|
|(1) THE PAROLE BOARD|
|(2) THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT||Defendants|
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 190 Fleet Street
London EC4A 2AG Tel: 020 7404 1400
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Crown Copyright ©
The background The background The background The background
"In March 2002 Bill and I had a row and Bill rape me. I don't tell lies and Bill did do this to me. I told the probation service because I needed to get help with Bill and his problems, and Bill was taken back to prison. Although Bill did rape me I don't want the police to do anything about it. I really, really loved Bill and I don't want this to go any further. I don't want to discuss what happened and there is no way I will go to court. ( Bill did rape me but I cannot speak up against him."
"4. The panel considered carefully the circumstances in which the allegation of rape was made and took into account:-
the fact that Ms Langhorne did not give evidence before us, and that her allegation could not be tested in cross-examination;
the fact that she did not make a complaint of rape for a period of about five months after the event;
the fact that she knew you had been convicted of rape in the past and therefore a further complaint of rape might be considered to carry credibility;
the fact that she might make a false allegation in order to secure your recall to prison as a means of bringing her relationship with you to an end; and
the fact that she telephoned Mr Brooks' solicitor prior to the Parole Board hearing, and was advised how to withdraw the allegation.
5. Having taken all these matters into account the panel nevertheless concluded that it was more probable than not that the complaint of rape by Ms Langhorne was true for the following reasons:
(a)the allegation was consistent with behaviour which was observed by your probation officer, Ms Sylvia Pettit, before she was aware of the rape complaint. On 1st August Ms Pettit reported that you spoke about Ms Langhorne in a dominating and controlling way and that you were unhappy that she was not responsive enough to you sexually;
(b)the occasion of the rape occurred on an occasion when you have admitted there was an argument between you and that you were very angry with her resulting in a decision to sleep in separate bedrooms that night;
(c)the complaint of rape, made by Ms Langhorne in a long interview with a Ms Marion Saddington (who was not previously acquainted with your case), was made in circumstances when Ms Langhorne was visibly frightened, crying and agitated;
the complaint was repeated a few days later, on 29th August 2002, to your probation officer Ms Pettit;
Ms Langhorne made a witness statement to the police on 30th August 2002 asserting the truth of the rape incident but asserting also that she would not given evidence against you in court; and
in subsequent telephone calls and in a letter written by Ms Langhorne the allegation of rape has never been withdrawn, although Ms Langhorne state she still loved you.
6. In reaching this conclusion the panel considered carefully your own evidence that no sexual intercourse occurred at all on the night in question. The panel was of the opinion that your evidence on this matter was less likely to be true than the account given by Ms Langhorne. Ms Saddington, who heard Ms Langhorne's complaint was impressed with her credibility as was Ms Pettit to whom the allegation was repeated on 29th August. The panel did not consider your evidence credible on a number of issues and on this central question the penal could not understand why, if no sexual intercourse occurred at all on the night in question, Ms Langhorne should have chosen this occasion in which to allege rape when there were other instances she could have chosen to make an untrue accusation of rape. In doubting the truthfulness of your evidence on this central point the panel took into account the manner in which you gave evidence in chief and answered questions in cross examination in forming an assessment as to your trustworthiness as a witness generally."
"The panel has concluded that given your past criminal convictions your behaviour generally towards Ms Langhorne is a cause for concern and is a factor which the panel have taken into account in considering future risk."
The applicable legal principles
"But in the final balance the Board is bound to give preponderant weight to the need to protect innocent members of the public against any significant risk of serious injury."
It was unfair to admit evidence of the rape in the absence of cross-examination
"However, it is clear that the entitlement of the Board to admit hearsay evidence is subject to the overriding obligation to provide the accused with a fair hearing. Depending upon the facts of the particular case and the nature of the hearsay evidence provided to the Board, the obligation to give the accused a fair chance to exculpate himself, or a fair opportunity to controvert the charge – to quote the phrases used in the cases cited above – or a proper or full opportunity of presenting his case – to quote the language of section 47 or rule 49 – may oblige the Board not only to inform the accused of the hearsay evidence but also to give the accused a sufficient opportunity to deal with that evidence. Again, depending upon the nature of that evidence and the particular circumstances of the case, a sufficient opportunity to deal with the hearsay evidence may well involve the cross-examination of the witness whose evidence of the witness whose evidence is initially before the Board in the form of hearsay."
The Board should have compelled attendance The Board should have compelled attendance The Board should have compelled attendance The Board should have compelled attendance
The conclusions of the Board was unsafe
Conclusions Conclusions Conclusions Conclusions