South Yorkshire woman wins £23,000 in damages after claiming she was raped by ex-partner – despite accused being found not guilty
A South Yorkshire woman has been awarded £23,000 in damages as part of a scheme supporting victims of crime – despite the man she accused of raping her being found not guilty.
The 39-year-old, who had accused her ex-partner of rape, said she felt let down by the justice system when he walked free from court having faced allegations of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence.
But, after considering the evidence in the case, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, which is run by the Government to compensate blameless victims of crime, has now awarded her more than £23,000 damages.
The woman had alleged that she had been raped on four occasions by her partner when she was aged between 16 and 18.
She also claimed to have been attacked on numerous occasions, where she was left unconscious, cut with a razor blade and was held under water.
It was alleged that she became pregnant after one of the sex attacks and went on to have a termination but the man she accused walked free from court.
She said she expected her claim to the CICA to be rejected given the outcome of criminal proceedings.
She said: “I found my past was impacting on how I was acting as a parent. I was paranoid when my children were out playing and especially if they were not back home when they should be. I wasn’t being reasonable.
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“I imagined the worst possible things happening to them and even warned them that they’d be attacked. I felt I had to confront my past, and that is when I went to the police.
“I’d not seen my former boyfriend for many years as I moved away with my mother in my teenage years. I didn’t see him in court either as I gave my evidence from behind a screen.”
She added: “After all I have been through I simply expected my case to be rejected and that I wouldn’t be believed, just as had happened with the jury at the trial.
“However, when I opened the letter and saw that I had been awarded damages I just caved in and burst into tears. Finally, after all these years and all I have been through, somebody had listened and somebody recognised me as a victim.
“I felt the legal system had totally let me down. I would like other people who find themselves in a similar position to me to be aware of this, as it is easy to believe that there is nobody out there looking out for you.
“This was never about the money, it was about someone, somewhere, listening to me and helping me.
“When I contacted Hudgell Solicitors they were brilliant in listening to me and understanding the position I was coming from. They said they would help me in making my case and I am really pleased with the result.”
Stacey Flegg, from Hudgell Solicitors, said: “The criminal justice system in our country requires a jury to be beyond all reasonable doubt when they find somebody guilty of a crime.
“With regards to claims for criminal injures, there does not have to have been a criminal conviction. It may be considered that there may not have been enough evidence to secure a conviction against the accused, but that there is enough detailed evidence from police investigations to suggest crimes have taken place, and suffering caused as a result.
“There is a subtle but significant difference in the laws and thresholds, and on this occasion I certainly feel the right decision has been made by the CICA. The accepted extent of her suffering, and impact on her life, has also been reflected in the sizeable compensation award.”