9.1.04

Victim outraged as Grosvenor House rape case dropped

Having taken the headlines by storm and sent contempt lawyers - notably the Attorney General - into a spin, the case of the Grosvenor House rape allegations has finally been dropped.

Having reviewed the case against 4 of the 8 people originally implicated, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to pursue charges against premiership footballers Carlton Cole and Titus Bramble as well as party goers Nicholas Meikle and Jason Edwards. The CPS said there was not sufficient evidence to secure a realistic prospect of conviction.

The Attorney General had voiced serious concerns over the media coverage of the sensational story after both the accused and victim provided the press and the public with their version of events.

The 17 year old at the centre of the gang rape or 'roasting' allegations hired publicist Max Clifford to handle her side of the story. Speaking on her behalf he said she was outraged and considering bringing a civil action.

For all the concern and calls for tougher control over the media's coverage, the point to note is that the case was dropped because of lack of clear or provable evidence. This poses a far bigger obstacle in rape cases than any media coverage. So with no case being brought in law names and faces can now be known and shown - the public can make up its own mind on the facts - here we have the media law dilemma: the courts don't want too much media coverage for fear of trial by media or contempt but then when the facts of the case are such that sufficient evidence cannot be led or proved and the case is dropped...then by default, its back to the media and public opinon to make their judgment on the facts of the case.

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