Scuffles in court after sex charges dropped

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The Independent Online
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Violence erupted in an Old Bailey court yesterday after a judge freed a man accused of drugging and sexually abusing his teenage daughter.

Friends and relatives of the 19-year-old woman screamed and shouted in court and her alleged attacker was assaulted in a corridor outside.

The trial, in which the woman told the court that the 38-year-old man had drugged and raped her, was halted after the judge ruled that the victim had contradicted herself during her evidence. The Crown Prosecution Service, police and prosecution counsel, decided after 'deliberations at the highest level' not to proceed further with the case.

The judge, Mr Justice John Kay, told the victim, who had pleaded for the case to go on: 'I don't think it's fair to you to go back into the witness box. I've a duty to look after you. We have all seen how upset you are. I want you to go home and try and forget all about this. No one in anyway is going to say they disbelieved you because of this.'

He added: 'The fact that people are found not guilty does not mean that those making the allegations against them have been disbelieved.'

Judge Kay then directed the jury to return not guilty verdicts on four charges against the man of rape, indecent assault, and administering drugs in order to have sexual intercourse.

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