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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69261
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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If I wanted to seek advice regarding a civil prosecution regarding

Resolved Question:

If I wanted to seek advice regarding a civil prosecution regarding an historical sexual allegation, how would I find out if I had a case?
I have reported this to my local police station and they feel they can't take further action.

Our stories are very similar up to the point of the sexual abuse. I was 9-10 years old and he was 14-15 years! The story he has invented puts him in the bedroom and under the covers like I have said-but with different accounts of what happened!

I would like more information to see if I would have a case or not please!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What do you mean by civil prosecution please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I meant if I could take it further rather than excepting the response I have from the police, that they aren't able to take further action

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

You can take out a private prosecution against him but that is expensive and there is no legal aid. Also, you run the risk that CPS will take it over and drop it. They are fond of doing that with private prosecutions.

You can always sue in civil law but again that is expensive although cheaper than a private prosecution. Also, you would need to get around the Limitation Act 1980 which gave you 6 years from the date of your 18th birthday to sue. There has been some case law that has suggested that it is possible in some circumstances but I have to say that my experience has been that its often disallowed. Further, if you lose which is a significant risk you would have to pay his costs which may be onerous.

In terms of whether you have a case, I can only be honest with you. Its a very difficult offence to prove even with recent allegations. Stale allegations are even harder. Where a person is running a very similar account to that alleged but offering an innocent explanation its always very difficult to refute.

In relation to the police conduct, actually they have acted properly here I'm afraid. You will understand that there are false allegations and recently there has been increasing case law that has recognised that the police should be aware that the person that they are investigating may be innocent. There is a case called Richardson that says that where the police are not going to lose evidence if an immediate arrest is not made, a person should be invited in voluntarily and their prints and DNA not taken unless they stop co-operating with the proper investigation. All the police have done here is follow that case.

This was probably reviewed by CPS anyway who would have made the decision that the allegation could not be proven rather than the police. You can ask them to review the decision if made by CPS although I have to be honest and say that I have never yet seen a different decision reached upon review.

I'm very sorry but I can only give you a truthful answer.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

With the story that he gave was that he did enter my bedroom and get under the covers. He said that he did not masturbate over me but had a wet dream instead and his hands were not in my pants but just wrapped around me as he had fallen asleep.


To me this is worse than admitting it, as it's not normal behaviour of a 14-15 year old to go into a 9-10 year old girls room and get into bed with them. Even with him saying this story I would not have a case?



Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry but you would not.

His account is not an offence.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69261
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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