Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Liam Allan: Falsely accused student supports anonymity for rape suspects

Innocent student cleared after lawyers discovered evidence casting serious doubt over case

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 17 December 2017 13:33 GMT
Liam Allan says rape suspects should have anonymity until proven guilty

People accused of rape should be granted anonymity until they are found guilty, said a university student who spent two years on bail before the rape case against him collapsed.

Liam Allan told Sky News: ”I think every individual [involved in rape cases] should be given anonymity, even afterwards, unless they say they want to go public.”

The 22-year-old was cleared after lawyers discovered text messages, previously undisclosed by the prosecution, cast doubt on the claim that the sex was non-consensual.

He added: “Obviously I didn’t really have a huge option in terms of my name being spoken about. You can’t judge people’s reactions. You can’t predict people’s reactions. You can’t stop that.

“And then you also can’t stop if people are going to want to cause harm to you.”

Mr Allan went on to describe the two years he spent on bail as “hell”.

He said: “It’s impossible to put into words. You don’t really anticipate anything like that happening to yourself. You hear about it quite a bit in terms of famous people, but you don’t anticipate for yourself how that’s going to be.”

The Metropolitan Police said it was carrying out an “urgent assessment” over the way the case was handled.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Mr Allan described his ordeal as “a terrible form of limbo” but said he wanted to use the experience as a force for good.

He said he had not “slept properly” for two years since he was arrested, and added: “The support from friends was fantastic; no one believed for one minute that I was guilty. No one treated me differently, no one gave me funny looks at university. I just had to carry on.”

Mr Allan said he believed the case started when the complainant – who cannot be named for legal reasons – began telling “a little white lie”.

He told the newspaper: “It completely spiralled out of control and it became a story she had to stick to. She completely lost control of what happened.

“I am hoping to use my experience to help change system failures for the benefit of both victims and falsely accused people together.”

Police are understood to have looked at thousands of phone messages when reviewing evidence, but it was not until the prosecution was close to trial that Met officers disclosed communications between the complainant and her friends which cast doubt on the case against Mr Allan.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said they offered no evidence in the case at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday, as it was decided “there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction”.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in