Rape Victims: Disclosure of Evidence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:33 pm on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Richard Drax Richard Drax Conservative, South Dorset 4:33 pm, 29th April 2019

Rape is a heinous and horrible crime, and I have seen its consequences at first hand, so I am fully aware, so far as any man can be, of its impact on a woman. At the same time, there are also concerns that if a man is found guilty but is not, that man’s reputation is damaged for the rest of his life.

Knowing rape cases as I do, having been a journalist for some 17 years and having covered the courts, I know that it is common for the defence to attack a woman’s reputation. I would like to hear from the Minister what is to prevent that happening. If the police have all this evidence going back many years, as we have heard, what can be done to ensure that only the relevant information is selected? Who will choose what that relevant information is?