Met Police apologise for student rape case error

UK student Liam Allan had been on bail for two years because an office failed to disclose key evidence

Police and prosecutors have apologized after a student’s rape trial collapsed because an office failed to disclose key evidence.

The case against Liam Allan, 22, was thrown out of court after it emerged a detective had not handed over text messages from the accuser's phone.

The officer in charge of the case failed to find key evidence among 57,000 messages on the alleged victim's mobile phone, the report found.

The messages were only passed to the defence days before the trial collapsed at Croydon Crown Court.

Allan, 22, had been charged with 12 counts of rape and sexual assault.

After a review, the Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the mistake was not deemed deliberate and no officers or prosecutors have been disciplined over the case.

The messages revealed the alleged victim had pestered him for "casual sex".

In a joint statement, the Met Police and CPS said: "The disclosure problems in this case were caused by a combination of error, lack of challenge, and lack of knowledge."

The Met said "lessons would be learned" from Liam Allan's collapsed rape trial

The Met Police's Cdr Richard Smith and Claire Lindley, from the CPS, met face-to-face with Allan on Monday to discuss the findings into the review.

"It is clear from our review that both the Met and the CPS did not carry out disclosure procedures properly in this case," Cdr Smith said.

"Although we are confident there was no malicious intent in this case, it was important that we carried out this urgent review and learn lessons from it."

Lindley said Allan's case had highlighted some "systemic and deep-rooted issues".

She added: "The prosecutors involved in this case did not sufficiently challenge the police about digital material. That meant that it took longer than was necessary to drop Allan's case. For that, the CPS has offered an unreserved apology to him."

Allan however said he had concerns that certain messages in his case "were plucked specifically to go against me".

He had said his "overwhelming feeling was frustration" after spending two years on bail.

After receiving his apology, he said he still had concerns about the way his case was handled.

Thousands of current rape and serious sexual assault cases in England and Wales are to be reviewed to ensure evidence has been disclosed.

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