Saturday, October 14, 2017

Are There Very Few False Allegations of Rape and Child Abuse? [1]

Keir Starmer QC, UK  Director of Public Prosecutions (2008-13)

Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International (Ireland)

Both Keir Starmer and Colm O'Gorman are dismissive of the idea that false allegations of rape or child sex abuse, constitute a significant problem. While Keith Starmer was head of the Crown Prosecution Service, the CPS produced a Report stating that they had only prosecuted 35 persons for making a false allegation during a 17 month  period in 2011- 2012 when they brought 5,651 prosecutions for rape and Mr Starmer stated that it is a "misplaced belief" that false accusations of rape are commonplace.

In then same vein Colm O'Gorman wrote in the Irish Times on 29 March 2006 that:
In the past few months a number of commentators have suggested that grave injustice is being done to priests falsely accused of child sexual abuse. Such suggestions rightly concern fair minded people, but remarkably, no evidence of any kind has been presented to suggest that false allegations are being made or that the rights of those accused are being abused.”
At the time, Colm O'Gorman was head of the Child abuse victims organisation "One In Four" which he had founded. In February 2008 he became Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland a post he still holds. Evidently Amnesty is in agreement with his views on the non-importance of false allegations!

NOTE: In the case of Nora Wall (no 5 below) she received a Certificate of Miscarriage of Justice from the Court of Criminal Appeal in December 2005 i.e. just 3 months before Colm O'Gorman's article. The two brothers who tried to extort money from  Father Michael Kennedy with false allegations  (no 3 below) were convicted in January 2006 i.e. TWO months before O'Gorman assured us that there was no evidence that such actions constituted a problem!

There was a discussion on this issue in the thread on George Hook and the following is an extract.

Post by "amsterdemmetje" dated  23 September 2017
...........  A report by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) examined rape allegations in England and Wales over a 17-month period between January 2011 and May 2012. It showed that in 35 cases authorities prosecuted a person for making a false allegation, while they brought 5,651 prosecutions for rape. Keir Starmer, the head of the CPS, said that the "mere fact that someone did not pursue a complaint or retracted it, is not of itself evidence that it was false" and that it is a "misplaced belief" that false accusations of rape are commonplace.

He added that the report also showed that a significant number of false allegations of rape (and domestic violence) "involved young, often vulnerable people. About half of the cases involved people aged 21 years old and under, and some involved people with mental health difficulties. In some cases, the person alleged to have made the false report had undoubtedly been the victim of some kind of offence, even if not the one that he or she had reported."

Reply to "amsterdemmetje" by Kilbarry1 dated  23 September 2017

False Allegations of Rape and Paedophilia (A)

Keir Starmer, the head of the CPS, said that the "mere fact that someone did not pursue a complaint or retracted it, is not of itself evidence that it was false".

It is ALSO the case that it is extremely difficult to PROVE that a woman(or man) has made a false allegation of rape where it is just one person's word against another's. I recall a number of prosecutions for false allegations in Ireland. Every one of them involve either an accuser who was incredibly stupid OR an accused person who was extremely lucky

.(1) The guy who accused Louis Walsh of assaulting him in the toilets of a night club. CCTV camera showed they were never in the Gents at the same time. All the imbecile had to do was to go into the Gents after Walsh - and it would have been impossible to PROVE that he was lying.

.(2) A woman had a dispute with her next door neighbours and she accused their teenage son of assaulting her daughter. This was an adult making allegations against an under-age person so the Gardaí dealt with it very seriously. If she had accused the boy's father instead she would have had a much better chance of staying out of jail

.(3) Two brothers who tried to blackmail a priest in Co Waterford by threatening to accuse him of child abuse unless he paid them money. He said he was going to the bank to get the money but returned with the Gardaí. The imbeciles then drove away at speed with the squad car I pursuit. All they had to do was (A) agree on the details of a story beforehand and (B) stand their ground when the Gardaí arrived and again it would have been difficult to PROVE they were lying

.(4) A Dublin publican banned a man for creating a disturbance at Christmas. The guy then put up posters at night accusing the publican of being a paedophile and kept replacing them. He wasn't caught by the Gardaí but by the publican and his sons who drove around at night until they caught him in the act. He was jailed.

(5) In the Nora Wall case, she was actually convicted and jailed. The two accusers would have collected a fortune in damages from the Sisters of Mercy but they were impatient to get their hands on  cash. So they gave an exclusive interview to the Daily Star that published their names for the first time and it soon became clear that both were SERIAL accusers. One of their former victims recognised one of their names as his own accuser and contacted Nora Wall's family

All of the above  involved unusual situations. IF a false accuser is NOT a complete moron OR the accused person is not very lucky, then the chances of the false accuser being brought to account are minimal.

False Allegations of Rape and Paedophilia (B)

I recall two other cases.

(6) A guy living in a hostel for the homeless accused a priest of sexually assaulting him many years previously when he was a child. Reading about it, I got the impression that the guy was a nutcase and I suspect that in normal circumstances the Gardai would have warned him about the consequences of making a false allegation and basically told him to get lost. HOWEVER the guy choose to go first to Colm O'Gorman's "One in Four" organisation and THEY took him to the Archbishop of Dublin. Since he had involved the elite of the land in his allegation, the Gardaí could not just throw him out with a warning so he was brought to court. As I recall his trial lasted the best part of 2 weeks and then he had an  unsuccessful appeal against conviction but a successful one to have his sentence reduced "on health grounds". It was probably his mental health the court had in mind!

(7) A case in Co Galway (there is a thread on it here) where two families were involved in an ugly land dispute and the young daughter of one accused the son of the other of sexually assaulting her. The jury convicted him - no forensic evidence, one person's word against another and an existing vicious dispute between the families. Many years later the daughter, now a young woman, testified that she had invented the allegation and the guy got a Certificate of Miscarriage of Justice from the Court of Criminal Appeal (like Nora Wall in fact).

Once again, unless the accuser is practically a certified idiot OR the accused is VERY lucky, it is practically impossible to PROVE that an allegation is false!

My Reply to rob
Yes this is the opening post on that 2009 thread

"Galwayman exonerated on false rape claim
Another miscarriage of justice hits the Gardai and the courts.

 In 1999 the then 10 year old Una Hardester accused Michael Hannon of sexually assaulting her. heading should read thus
 Hannon thankfully only received a 4 year suspended sentence however the trauma of the false accusation had a terrible effect on his health and he had to live with the stigma until earlier this year when Hardester now 22 yrs old found God and could no longer live with the false accusation."

1999 was an insane year - following the broadcast by RTE of Mary Raftery's 3-part  "States of Fear"  mockumentary series. Nora Wall was convicted a few weeks after the final programme in spite of clear evidence that the two accusers were lying. There had originally been two allegations of rape but the defence was able to prove that Wall's co-accused was 100 miles away on the date of the first allegation. Instead of concluding that the accusers were obvious liars, the jury acquitted the accused on the first charge but convicted them on the second charge which did not specify an exact date (or even year).

Nuns, brothers and priests were the MAIN targets of the hysteria but the jury in the Michael Hannon case were almost as crazy when they convicted him. I suspect that the  judge was not convinced - and this accounts for the suspended sentence handed down. (Nora Wall was sentenced to life imprisonment - the FIRST time in the history of the State that such a sentence was given for rape!)

False Allegations of Rape and Paedophilia (C)

"In some cases, the person alleged to have made the false report had undoubtedly been the victim of some kind of offence, even if not the one that he or she had reported." Keir Starmer

Yes indeed it's nice of the head of the Crown Prosecution Service to admit the above, but it is absolutely grotesque for him to use it as a kind of excuse for a false allegation. The following case made headlines in Ireland in 1997 and the Rape Crisis Centre even claimed that the woman's sentence was too long. It was 4 months for making false rape allegations against THREE  Irish soldiers.
Irish woman jailed in Cyprus for false rape complaint

A 22-year-old Dublin woman's package holiday in Cyprus has ended with her being sent to prison for four months for making a false complaint to police that she was raped by three Irish soldiers...

The soldiers were staying at the same apartment as another man whom Ms Mangan had met the night before she reported the alleged rape. Police said they found contradictions in the complaint and Ms Mangan later admitted she made up the story because one of the men staying in the apartment photographed her while she slept nude.

At the hearing at Famagusta District Court in Nicosia, her lawyer said the false allegation was her way of taking revenge because she "felt demeaned" and that "she had been raped morally, if not bodily". Judge Antonis Liatsos said he had dealt with a number of cases recently of women tourists making false rape allegations...........

Photographing a woman who is lying drunk and naked on top of a bed is not nice and might even be an offence but it is not rape. The head of the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK seems to be suggesting that it is understandable for a woman to make a false allegation of rape because a man offended her in some OTHER way!


  1. I did not realize that the women in the Nora Wall case did the interview with the Star for money. Is that why they revealed their identities?

    The young woman in the Galway case was brave to come forward. I remember at the time hearing a prominent liberal journalist, who was commenting on it on the radio, say with much disapproval that it would dissuade girls from making accusations. Perhaps I had misheard her but I really don't think so.

    You might find this interesting about Starmer:!/2014/02/rotting-from-head.html . His amnesia about his grammar school is shared by Theresa May (according to Peter Hitchens).

    I notice that the British 1 in 4 website still says that 'as many as' one in four people suffer sexual abuse while the Irish one is still as confident that that is indeed the figure.

    Did you come across the David Bryant case in England? His accuser turned out to have a history of treatment for his inability to tell the truth. They had to accept that he was a fantasist when he claimed that, but for his ordeal, he would have made it onto the British Olympic boxing team!

    Another one would be the Mark Pearson case at Waterloo Station. He was found not guilty but they still took him to court to face the accusation that he had sexually abused an actress in her sixties as he walked past her in a crowded concourse with a bag in one hand and a rolled up newspaper in the other! She claimed that he had 'penetrated' her (cctv showed it took him half a second to walk past her) even though she was wearing a coat over a jacket over a light dress over ski pants following her yoga class.

    I doubt these are news to you of all people, but I mention them just in case. Thre is so much nonsense that I doubt if any one person can keep up.

    There was another case at Waterloo station where a two solicitors (at least one of whom was married) were arrested for sexual activity. The woman later alleged that the man had assaulted her (or 'abused' her) and apparently got lifelong anonymity by doing this.

    It is very hard to keep all this information in your head without getting completely befuddled. I must have read your accounts of the Nora Wall case five times now to try to commit it to memory.

    I don't know how you can bear that crowd on

  2. Alexander Baron is a freelance researcher and journalist who has looked into false accusations. Here is an example:

  3. Hi Sean. Regarding Nora Wall the Wikipedia article on her includes the following:
    On 17 June [1999], a week after the rape convictions, Regina Walsh gave an interview to journalist Barry O'Keefe of The Star newspaper claiming that she had also been raped by a "black man in Leicester Square" in London.[12] This was news to Wall's defence team. Moreover, The Star published the names of Walsh and her "witness" Patricia Phelan for the first time. A Kilkenny businessman read the newspaper and recognised Phelan as the woman who had made a false rape allegation against him, and the defence came into possession of this evidence.

    There is also a very detailed article in the Jesuit quarterly review "Studies" in Winter 2006 about Nora Wall and her co-accused Pablo McCabe. I had actually suggested such an article to the editor of Studies in early 2006 and even suggested Breda O'Brien as a possible writer. However her article is NOT based on my work!

    I intend to do follow up articles to the present one - including one featuring false allegations in the UK specifically and I will keep your material in mind!

  4. My own essay on Nora Wall is "The Passion of Nora Wall"
    I offered it to the editor of 'Studies' but I guessed he would not accept it so I suggested Breda O'Brien (because I had used her articles in other stuff I wrote concerning Mary Raftery etc)