St Albans victim of alleged rape continues fight for justice

Victims of crime may take years to recover

Victims of crime may take years to recover - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Criticism has been levelled at the police for rejecting a St Albans woman’s plea to have her sexual assault case brought to court, as they claim there is little chance of conviction.

Penny* has been left extremely distraught at the way the Metropolitan Police have dealt with her allegation, saying that she has been forced to “fight hammer and tong” for justice for over a year.

The 35 year old was allegedly raped in a South London hotel in January 2013 by a man who works in the music industry.

Penny believes her drink was spiked with a date rape drug, possibly Rohypnol, which caused her to black out after a night out with friends.

She was taken from a club to a nearby hotel, where she regained consciousness while being assaulted.

Unfortunately, the police were not contacted immediately afterwards as Penny was in denial, and the assault occurred two months before her wedding.

Penny added: “I had to start a new job and spent time over the next month having to face getting sexual health checks, while also getting vaccinations for my honeymoon.

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“That pain is something I can barely describe. I was on autopilot.”

She went on: “It was only at my last check that I mustered up the determination and strength that he wouldn’t get away with doing this to anyone else that I called the police, just under a month after the attack.”

After initially talking to Herts Police, Penny’s case was handed over to the Met Police, which investigated the alleged rape.

She was later told that as there was no forensic evidence, and the case was “not in the public interest” it would not go to court.

But Penny claims that there is missing CCTV footage and possible witnesses have not been spoken to.

She has appealed against the rejection twice but the Independent Police Complaints Commission has recently “finally rejected” proceeding with the case.

Penny has since approached St Albans MP Anne Main, who told the Herts Advertiser: “I applaud her bravery in trying to get to the truth. Any non-consensual sex is unlawful, but it is hard to prove.

“It serves as a warning to all women, that they have to be on the look out for themselves, and their friends. If you go out together, you should leave together, and don’t accept drinks from strangers.”

According to a recent report, fewer rape suspects were convicted in 2013 despite a rise in offences recorded by police.

Penny said she hoped by approaching the Herts Ad she could “highlight how bad things are with reporting rape and making it through to prosecution. I am disgusted at how many people are getting away with this crime.”

A spokesman for the Met Police said that a 33 year old man had been interviewed and subsequently released.

He added: “After a careful review of the evidence, the victim was advised there was insufficient evidence to take forward a case.”

*Penny is a pseudonym.