Lawyer Nick Freeman calls for public register to name people who make false rape allegations

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A celebrity lawyer is calling for people who make false rape and sex assault allegations to be stripped of their statutory anonymity and named on a public register.
The comments by Nick Freeman, nicknamed ‘Mr Loophole’ for his record helping clients fight motoring offences, come after the trial of 22-year-old student Liam Allan, who was charged with rape, dramatically collapsed.
Mr Freeman, who runs Manchester-based Freeman and Co Solicitors, argues the case is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and false allegations are being made on a ‘daily basis’. 
But Heywood and Middleton MP, Liz McInnes, who has campaigned for rape case reform said this was a ‘knee jerk response’ to a small minority of cases.
She also warned that a register could further deter victims from coming forward to report sexual offences.
Mr Freeman said: “The time has come for there to be a register where the names of those who make these disgraceful and disgusting allegations are added.
“Sadly, Mr Allan’s case is not a one off. It is one of many - the tip of the iceberg. False allegations are made on a daily basis, and those who make them can hide behind a lifelong veil of anonymity.
“That is not the case with the defendant. They are named - often before being charged with a crime. And such is the unique stigma associated with these type of allegations, their reputations are traduced and this can often result in life-changing consequences.” 
Criminology student Liam Allan who had been on bail for two years, charged with six rapes and six sexual assaults was warned that if found guilty he would be looking at a jail sentence of at least ten years when evidence that had been withheld by police was produced, proving his innocence.
His defence team had repeatedly been refused access to the woman’s telephone records, because police said they contained nothing of interest. However, when they were handed over by a new prosecution barrister, it was revealed they contained a cache of crucial messages from the complainant, which included her ‘pestering’ Mr Allan.
Halting the trial at the eleventh hour, Judge Peter Gower formally found Allan not guilty of all charges and called for an inquiry at the ‘very highest level’ of the Crown Prosecution Service.
Mr Allan now says he will sue the CPS and Metropolitan police following the case, and he told Sky News that people accused of rape should have anonymity until they are found guilty.
Under UK law people who report sexual offences currently have lifetime anonymity, even if the accused is acquitted or the case is dropped. 
But MP Liz McInnes, who had previously objected to a complainant’s sexual history being used in evidence, told the MEN a register would only make it more difficult for victims of sexual assault.
She said: “I would be quite wary about changing the law on the basis of one case. In that particular case justice was done in the end and I don’t see any reason to change the law around anonymity.
“I think the statistics show that the numbers of false allegations are very, very small compared to the total number of cases. If there were statistics showing that a large number of rape allegations were false then it would be different, but that’s not the case. 
“It’s a bit of a knee-jerk response to one case and I really don’t think British law should be based on extraordinary cases. I wouldn’t want to see anything come in that would put off women reporting sexual assault.”
She added: “In the end the fact that so few cases are actually found to be malicious means it would be a pretty pointless exercise.
“Rape cases are notoriously difficult and it would just be an extra hurdle, it would legitimise the idea that women who complain are lying which unfortunately does tend to be a bit of a default position.
“Women are put off from reporting rape because they think they won’t be believed and this database will further deter women. Naming and shaming like this is not the way forward.”

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