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BBC Reports on the Costs of False Allegations

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Home » BBC Reports on the Costs of False Allegations

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

It’s not often that the BBC reports on the devastating impact of wrongful allegations. We are delighted that two of our members have at last been the subject of a documentary and news item which you can read, hear or watch by following the links below.

Lord Henriques, who wrote an excoriating report on the failure of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation called Operation Midland, also features in the recording.

The news item and documentary vividly highlight the suffering of these two people, not only during their ordeals but in the aftermath when both have post traumatic stress disorder. Rebecca has been unable to return to her career in teaching because of the damage to her emotional health.

The fact that nobody ever gets a verdict of ‘innocent’, only a verdict of ‘not guilty’ was mentioned. Anyone who has suffered a wrongful allegation, even if not charged by the police, will be well aware of how the cloud of suspicion can remain with them and tarnish their reputation, limit their employment opportunities and even affect their leisure and volunteering activities.

Wrongful allegations have a huge financial cost if the victim doesn't qualify for legal aid

However, the harm was not limited to the accused, the wider families and friends were also seriously affected, emotionally and financially. Neither defendant qualified for legal aid, so had to fund their own defences, Brian’s family had to find an eye watering £500,000. The narrator of the documentary rightly referred to this as an ‘innocence tax’.

It would be so helpful if more documentaries of this nature could be broadcast. We could really benefit from a return of a documentary series like ‘Rough Justice‘ which famously helped to overturn the convictions of 18 people. It was cancelled in 2007 due to lack of money.

Sadly, it seems that justice is now considered a luxury item which is only available to those who can afford it, though having to remortgage your house and spend all your savings to fight a false allegation stretches the definition of affordability.

Brian Buckle is speaking at our AGM and Conference on 14th October, and Rebecca is also a member of FACT.

The BBC News Item https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-66928735

On BBC Sounds https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0gjr0lh

On BBC iPlayer https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0gjkwm1

See Also

Examples of people who have suffered a miscarriage of justice

Blogs about the harm caused by wrongful allegations

The suffering of the wrongfully accused

Why False (or Wrongful) Allegations Happen

Henriques Report an opportunity to re-balance the scales of justice