Doctors' errors may allow rapists to go free

Rapists and child sex abusers are escaping justice because doctors who examine their victims are making too many errors, a senior member of the British Medical Association is reported as saying.

Dr George Fernie, chairman of the BMA's forensic medicine committee, said too few suitably qualified doctors are available to examine victims of sex crimes. This means that the forensic evidence needed to convict may be missed.

The issue will be debated next week at the BMA's annual conference after a motion was put forward complaining that patchy provision of fully trained sexual offence examiners "contributes to a reduction in rape conviction rates".