MPs slam anonymity bid for rape accused

TWO senior South Yorkshire Labour MPs have spoken out against a government proposal to grant anonymity to defendants accused of rape.

Rosie Winterton and Caroline Flint have warned the plan could inhibit the prosecution of serial rapists and send a message to juries and rape victims that "the victim is not to be believed".

Last week Nigerian student Olumide Fadayomi told The Star of his 'hell' after being falsely accused of rape by a 21-year-old woman and put through the ordeal of a trial. He was cleared unanimously by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court, who heard the woman had previously accused 18-year-old Daniel Devennie, from Penistone, of raping her on a football pitch.

The case never went to court but, depressed, Mr Devennie killed himself 18 months later aged 21 by taking an overdose of pills and vodka.

More than 50 MPs, including Ms Winterton and Ms Flint, have signed an Early Day Motion condemning the move by the coalition government.

Don Valley MP Ms Flint, who has secured a Commons debate on the issue, said: "My concern is how it may act against convicting rapists in the future.

"It does seem to me odd that this should be the one area they pick on, given that so many women who do go through the court processes - who are certainly not accused of falsely making allegations - often find that side of the process is absolutely traumatic.

"Often we don't get the conviction rate we would like to see in these type of cases."

Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton, shadow leader of the Commons, added: "It is often only after many rapes that a defendant is finally brought before the court. It is often only when previous victims see the name of the defendant that they find the courage to come forward.

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