England: Woman abandons rape case over CPS and police blunders

A woman who was left in legal limbo for five years after her rape complaint was bungled by the Crown Prosecution Service and Metropolitan Police has abandoned it in frustration.

The CPS has apologised to the woman, who is now in her mid-20s, after a failure of communication between police and prosecutors saw her case delayed for years.

She told The Guardian: “The system that everything goes through is completely wrong. If it happened again I would rather not report it. I want to start healing. I hope this will never happen to anyone else again.”

The unidentified woman, who in 2013 worked at a hotel in London, claims she was raped there by a colleague with whom she had previously had a relationship.

After the end of their shift they had slept in separate beds but she alleges she awoke to him assaulting her.

After she called police from a nearby hotel, they arrested the suspect, who was subsequently released and is believed to have now fled abroad.

In September 2013, the CPS authorised the police to charge the man with rape. However there was no communication for a year, prompting the CPS to mark the file inactive in September 2014.

Prosecutors asked for outstanding evidence the following year.

In September 2016, a senior prosecutor requested a European arrest warrant (EAW), which was then incorrectly sent to police and never received.

Last October, a fresh EAW was signed by a judge.

A CPS legal manager sent the complainant a letter stating: “I do apologise for the delay we have directly caused to the issuing of the arrest warrant.

“During a substantial period of 2013 to 2015 the CPS were not seized of your case as we awaited information from the police so that we could draft the relevant warrant. However, from August 2016 until September 2017 the CPS did have conduct of the case and did not act with all due diligence.”