Judge calls for community meetings after Brierfield rape case collapses

editorial image

A JUDGE has called for meetings with community representatives in East Lancashire after a man accused of twice raping his wife escaped being tried.

The 34-year-old father of two had been due to face a jury at Burnley Crown Court last week, but the prosecutor was forced to leave the allegations to lie on file because the woman did not want to give evidence.

The hearing was told the alleged victim had made a retraction and was said to have been put under “enormous emotional pressure from her community” over the case. Her husband, who is already on the sex offenders’ register until autumn 2014, and has a record for violence against his wife, was discharged from the dock by Judge Simon Newell.

The defendant, who is from the Brierfield/Nelson area, was said to deny the two rape charges against him.

Prosecutor Miss Sara Dodd had told the hearing the alleged victim did not wish to give evidence against her husband. Judge Newell said he agreed the allegations should be left to lie on file but told the court the reasons for the alleged victim’s retraction gave him “cause for concern.” He said he hoped to set up a meeting with community representatives.