'Trick' sets rape case father free

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The Independent Online

Home Affairs Correspondent

A Polish man accused of raping his 13-year-old daughter walked free from Birmingham Crown Court yesterday after a judge heard police had illegally tricked him into returning to Britain.

Judge Thomas Dillon QC threw out the case against the 37-year-old man after hearing how Warwickshire police, in order to overcome extradition difficulties, had conspired with the girl's mother - concocting a story that the daughter of the accused man had been seriously injured and was in hospital.

He immediately flew back to Britain but was arrested at the airport. He was charged with raping the teenager in a Stratford-upon-Avon hotel in January last year.

But yesterday, the judge ruled there had been an abuse of process which had violated the man's human rights. Judge Dillon said: "It seems when someone is induced into coming to this country by a trick of deception and the process of that is to get round the extradition law, then it is a step which threatens the rule of law and the defendant's basic human rights".

The judge's decision follows a landmark ruling by the Law Lords, in the case of a New Zealander who alleged the British authorities connived in his illegal kidnapping and expulsion from South Africa to bring him to trial. The Lords ruled illegal actions by police or prosecuting authorities in order to bring a suspect to trial could destroy the case.

It was seen to close a legal loophole which allowed courts to turn a blind eye to illegal activities by the authorities provided a suspect was properly charged on arrival in the UK.