Court rules in favour of rape victim who retracted allegation under pressure from violent husband

8th August 2016

Court rules in favour of rape victim who retracted allegation under pressure from violent husband

A domestic violence victim who was jailed for retracting an allegation of rape which was actually true will have her compensation increased.

In a landmark decision, an appeal judge ruled she had been unfairly punished for failing to fully cooperate with police.

The woman, known as Sarah, was sentenced to eight months in prison in 2010 for perverting the course of justice but was released on appeal after serving two weeks, when it was accepted that her husband had raped her after years of domestic violence.

The lord chief justice acknowledged that she subsequently tried to retract the allegation after coming under pressure from her husband, only to change her mind again when the case against him was dropped, and she was subsequently charged with perverting the course of justice.

Sarah, who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the abuse, eventually won compensation for her ordeal. But her award was reduced by 40% because of the cost of the abandoned rape case and a further 30% due to two minor driving convictions accrued in the traumatic aftermath of her jail term.

However, in what her lawyers believe is a milestone decision, an appeal judge has rejected the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority argument that Sarah failed to cooperate with the prosecution by retracting her truthful complaint of rape.

Judge H Levenson quashed the decision, adding: “I simply do not see how, in this particular case, any reasonable tribunal could have gone on to make any deduction [on the above grounds].”

How can our personal injury lawyers help you with a sex abuse claim?

The consequences of domestic violence and sexual abuse can be devastating and lifelong – however, the courts are there to ensure that victims are properly compensated.

Gotelee Solicitors, which has offices in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Hadleigh, Melton and Woodbridge has a specialist team of lawyers who are able to navigate victims through the process.

Gotelee is also partnered with Ipswich charity Survivors in Transition and is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

To find out more about how we can help you, contact Siân Mullane on 01473 298131 or email

Chartered Legal Executive, Associate
Practice Areas
Accident and Personal Injury Claims
Medical Negligence
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