LETTER: Accusations devastate lives

The points raised in the article about the current anti-rape campaign by Sussex Police , draw our attention to how this heinous crime could be minimised, taking into account preventive measures such as safety in numbers and so on.

Common sense really, so why the controversy? Rape devastates lives.

I wonder, though, if anyone has considered how equally devastating it is to be wrongly accused of such an act?

If found guilty, the accused is incarcerated for however many years amongst ‘real’ criminals, then remains on the Sex Offenders register for the rest of his life and should he ever have the good fortune to meet a new partner, is legally bound to inform her of his alleged crimes.

The alleged victim, however, is now not cross examined in court and may stand to gain up to £20,000 in victim compensation. Is this tax payers money?

It seems that in light of the Jimmy Saville case, who was indeed guilty without doubt, many false allegations have been proffered and succeeded as the judicial system is almost frightened not to believe everyone who cries rape!

The police encourage victims of rape to come forward; understandably, it must be very difficult for genuine victims to do so. I have seen it stated, ‘You will be believed’..... imagine the outcry if they stated ‘You won’t be believed’?

Is such a statement even legal? If not, why is the former statement legal?

I urge anyone who even thinks about making a false claim to think again; can you live with your conscience and new found wealth while an innocent man languishes in jail?

Liz Fieldsend

St Leonards Place