Woman wins battle for `justice' over rape deckyy

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The Independent Online
Police are to review the evidence in a sex case after a woman was awarded £50,000 damages yesterday by a jury who decided she was raped by her former boss.

Linda Griffiths won a civil action she had been forced to bring because the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute the man she accused of attacking her. The jury yesterday decided she had been raped four years ago by Arthur Williams, one of the owners of the hotel where she was working.

As she left Truro county court at the end of the six-day hearing, Ms Griffiths, 32, told of her relief at the end of her long and often traumatic fight for justice and expressed her faith in the jury system.

But Mr Williams, 48, part-owner of the three-star riverside Green Lawns hotel in Falmouth, said he would be lodging an appeal against the verdict and the scale of the damages awarded by the jury.

Laterthe CPS said evidence from the police investigation had been examined at the time and it was decided it was insufficient to provide a realistic chance of conviction in a criminal court, where standards of proof are higher than those required in a county court.

However, Devon and Cornwall police said that in the light of yesterday's verdict, and the evidence presented in the case, officers would now re-examine the files to see if the situation had changed.

In a similar case, Michael Brookes was charged with murder and is awaiting trial for the killing of Lynn Siddons after her mother and grandmother were awarded £10,641 compensation.

Legal experts say yesterday's case is one of only a handfulto be brought in the past 50 years.

Ms Griffiths told the court thatin February 1991 she had been a part- time dishwasher at the hotel, staying near by at a £45-a-week bedsit which she had been renting from Mr Williams.

When he came to fix a door-lock, Ms Griffiths claimed he raped her, saying he was the landlord and that if she did not do as he said, she would be thrown out. "I wanted to kill myself because I felt dirty," she told the jury. "I want to see justice done because he raped me."

But Mr Williams, a former chef at the Dorchester hotel in London, denied he had raped her, saying she had put her arms round his neck, kissed him and consented to sex.

Four-year battle, page 3