McMillans Solicitors have considerable experience and expertise in defending false historical allegations.
It is sad reality that if somebody is motivated to make a false allegation of a sexual offence the fact that the allegation relates to alleged conduct many years ago (sometimes decades ago) and is not backed up with any corroborative evidence does not mean that the police will not take the matter seriously.
If such an allegation has been made against you, we anticipate that you will have a mixture of emotions including anxiety and anger at the unfairness of it all. You may initially say to yourself there is ‘no evidence’ as it did not happen and as such you do not need a lawyer.
Unfortunately, this is not true. The fact that it is one person’s word against another does not mean the police will not robustly investigate the matter and that investigation is unlikely to be a completely impartial and objective search for the truth. Rather the police will usually be 100% on the side of the person making the allegations and any interview will be designed to illicit information to support the allegations rather than disprove them.
As such it is vital that you instruct a lawyer to guide you through the police investigation as soon as you become aware of false historical allegations being made against you.
What you say or do not say to the police is incredibly important and will have potentially lasting consequences as to how the matter will proceed. It is easy to make mistakes in a police interview not because you are in any way guilty, but because it is incredibly stressful being interviewed by the police and it may be difficult to recall exact details from an incident that happened many years ago.
You need to be carefully advised by an experienced lawyer as to how to approach a police interview and all dealings with the police. You do not have to answer police questions and often it is better to exercise you right to silence or hand in prepared statement rather than risk making innocent mistakes or being unable to recall details when questioned by the police.
If the case goes to court, again it is vital that you are properly represented by a lawyer who regularly deals with these cases. False historical allegations invariably involve complex issues of law and procedure which we have unrivalled experience in dealing with.
In very old allegations the first question that should always be considered is whether the delay in the prosecution amounts to an abuse of the court process that makes a fair trial impossible, and the law, as it was at the time, needs to be considered which is often quite different from the law as it is today. By way of example we recently had a case involving a very old allegation where our client was 13 at the time and allegedly raped a girl of similar age. After making detailed representations to the CPS that according to the law pre 1993 a boy under 14 was presumed incapable of vaginal or anal rape the case was discontinued.
If you are currently being investigated by the police for a false historical allegation or if the case is already at court and you are unhappy with your current solicitor, please feel free to call for some free and confidential advice.