Police question woman about Hamilton claims

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The Independent Online

The woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by Neil and Christine Hamilton was questioned about her allegations by police for five hours yesterday.

Nadine Milroy-Sloan was interviewed by detectives at Barkingside police station, east London, after Scotland Yard said the investigation into her allegations would continue despite reports that mobile phone records had given Mrs Hamilton a cast-iron alibi.

Ms Milroy-Sloan, who claims the Hamiltons sexually assaulted her while she was raped by another man, was taken in and out of the station secretly to avoid the media.

The 27-year-old trainee college lecturer from Grimsby has given up the right to anonymity granted to alleged rape victims, saying she wanted to prove she had nothing to hide. The Hamiltons had claimed she was hiding behind anonymity while they had to defend themselves against her allegations in the public gaze.

Yesterday Mr Hamilton, a former Tory trade minister and MP for Tatton in Cheshire, said he and his wife were "wholly vindicated" after police traced a mobile telephone call that showed that at 5.44pm on 5 May, the day of the alleged assault, Mrs Hamilton's phone was 13 miles from the flat in Ilford, Essex where Ms Milroy-Sloan says it took place. Mr Hamilton said it was made by his wife to her mother as they drove from their flat in Battersea to Claridge's hotel in Mayfair.

The couple say shop till receipts put them in Chelsea at 3.24pm, and they have eight witnesses to say they were in Claridge's by 6.30pm. Together with the mobile phone call, the Hamiltons say the evidence shows they could not have been at the flat at 5pm, when Ms Milroy-Sloan says the assault happened.

Mr Hamilton said there was no reason for the police to continue the investigation or to hold any of their property, including their computers, any longer. However, speaking before Ms Milroy-Sloan was interviewed, a Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The investigation goes on and inquiries continue."

Ms Milroy-Sloan's parents, who were interviewed by the News of the World, were reportedly paid £75,000 after their daughter agreed to waive her right to anonymity. The Hamiltons were paid a reported £15,000 for an interview after they were arrested, and Barry Lehaney, the man Ms Milroy-Sloan alleges carried out the rape, says he has been offered "unbelievable" amounts of money.

Norman Brennan, director of the Victims of Crime Trust, criticised both the Hamiltons and Ms Milroy-Sloan for encouraging trial by media. He said they had treated a serious allegation like "a pantomime". He added:"It's already very difficult to encourage rape victims to come forward and report the crime and this case will only discourage victims further."

Mr Lehaney, 61, who denies Ms Milroy-Sloan's allegations, is due to talk to police today.

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