Student Liam Allan cleared of rape after police ‘sat on evidence’ casting doubt over case

Richard Hartley-Parkinson

Rape trial collapses after court hears victim fantasised about violent sex
Liam Allan who was cleared of rape after evidence came to light at the 11th hour (Picture: Facebook)

A judge has called for an inquiry after a student was cleared of rape when police failed to disclose evidence casting doubt over the case.

Liam Allan, 22, faced a two-year ordeal and three days in court before his trial was halted at the eleventh hour.

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A court heard that his accuser had sent messages asking him for casual sex and expressing fantasies about having violent sex, including the desire to be raped.

However, these messages were not handed over to prosecutors.

It is believed that the woman made up the claim because Mr Allan was going to university and would not be seeing her again.

The woman’s phone contained 40,000 messages including those that showed she pestered him for ‘casual sex’.

Rape trial collapses after court hears victim fantasised about violent sex
His accuser sent friends messages saying she wanted him to have violent sex with her and rape her (Picture: Facebook)

They also revealed that she had told friends about her fantasies of being raped by him and having violent sex with him.

Scotland Yard is carrying out an ‘urgent assessment’ into the collapse of the case following the late disclosure of evidence that undermined the case.

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As the trial was halted at Croydon Crown Court yesterday the judge called for a review of disclosure of evidence by the Metropolitan Police, as well as an inquiry at the Crown Prosecution Service, The Times reported.

Police are understood to have looked at thousands of phone messages when reviewing evidence but it was not until the prosecution was close to trial that Met officers disclosed messages between the complainant and her friends which cast doubt on the case against Mr Allan.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said they offered no evidence in the case on Thursday, as it was decided ‘there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction’.

Rape trial collapses after court hears victim fantasised about violent sex
An urgent review is being carried out by Scotland Yard (Picture: Getty)

Speaking outside court, Mr Allan told The Times: ‘I can’t explain the mental torture of the past two years. I feel betrayed by the system which I had believed would do the right thing – the system I want to work in.’

Writing in the paper, prosecuting barrister and former Conservative MP Jerry Hayes said: ‘I told the judge that this was the most appalling failure of disclosure that I have ever encountered.

‘The CPS are under terrible pressure, as are the police. Both work hard but are badly under-resourced.

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‘Crown court trials only work because of the co-operation and goodwill of advocates and the bench – but time pressures are making this increasingly difficult.

‘Because of the swingeing cuts that the Treasury continuously imposes, the system is not just creaking, it is about to croak.’

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘We are aware of this case being dismissed from court and are carrying out an urgent assessment to establish the circumstances which led to this action being taken.

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‘We are working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and keeping in close contact with the victim whilst this process takes place.’

A spokesman for the CPS said: ‘A charge can only be brought if a prosecutor is satisfied that both stages of the Full Code test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors are met, that is, that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is required in the public interest.

‘All prosecutions are kept under continuous review and prosecutors are required to take account of any change in circumstances as the case develops.

‘In November 2017, the police provided more material in the case of Liam Allan. Upon a review of that material, it was decided that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.

‘Therefore we offered no evidence in the case against Liam Allan at a hearing on December 14 2017.

‘We will now be conducting a management review together with the Metropolitan Police to examine the way in which this case was handled.’

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