Stormy meeting with police chief as she asks why detectives will not follow evidence
By Mark Conrad | 17 May 2014
Jane’s quest for answers about the investigation into her rape claim against a former cabinet minister led to a heated meeting with a police chief.
Detectives told Jane that their investigation into her allegations against the ex-minister would not proceed. They implied that it was a CPS decision.
But she had received nothing in writing about the outcome of the case. She telephones her liaison officer, leaving a message to chase up a request for a letter about the decision.
“Why are you doing this to me?” – Jane asks police chief
The liaison officer calls back. She says that the officer in charge of the investigation, a detective chief inspector, wants a meeting with Jane.
In February, Jane – accompanied by her partner, Michael – meets the DCI and her liaison officer at their base at Empress State Building in Earl’s Court, west London.
According to Jane’s and Michael’s accounts of the exchanges, the DCI asks Jane what she wants to achieve from the meeting.
Jane says that she had merely asked her liaison officer for a letter to confirm the CPS decision in her case.
The liaison officer says that she is unaware of any such request.
The DCI interjects. He had not received an official decision on her case from the CPS. He had made the decision not to proceed, he says. There was insufficient evidence.
So, Jane asks, had the police spoken to the alleged attacker?
She is shocked by the DCI’s reply. No, they had not. They had not arrested him. They had not interviewed him under caution. The meeting becomes increasingly heated. According to Jane and Michael, the DCI is testy and defensive.
The evidence suggests, says the DCI, that Jane had “voluntarily” taken off her clothes after she entered the bedroom with her alleged attacker.
Jane angrily rejects the DCI’s characterisation of what happened.
The DCI places on the table in front of him a summary of her statements to the police, and begins to read from it.
The summary, Jane tells him, bears little resemblance to what she had told detectives. She becomes increasingly distressed.
The DCI tells Jane that he handed all the details of her allegations to the CPS before he made his decision. The implication is that he had asked the CPS for advice. And, he says, he provided the CPS with full details, including her alleged attacker’s identity.
This contradicts what his two junior officers had told her and Michael previously.
Jane and Michael query the point with the DCI.
There might have been a misunderstanding about what his colleagues had previously told them, he says.
But Jane and her partner are insistent: the other two detectives had told them that the alleged attacker’s identity had been anonymised when the file was handed to prosecutors for review.
The DCI offers no further explanation.
He tells them that he had sought an early consultation from the CPS prior to an arrest decision – in line with Met procedures.
The DCI continues to read from his summary document.
When the couple again question the Met’s account of the attack, the DCI warns them to stop interrupting.
A distressed Jane asks the DCI: “Why are you doing this to me?”
Dismissing the summary document, Jane says that her full witness statement would tell the DCI exactly what happened inside her alleged attacker’s flat.
“We only have your word for that,” he replies.
Jane and Michael say later that the Met could have tested it by questioning the ex-minister.
The DCI tells Jane that the Met’s decision could be reviewed, although he could not envisage any grounds on which it would be reversed.
Michael says that, in the absence of such a review, the Met could leave itself open to accusations of a potential cover-up.
The DCI demands that Jane and Michael leave the room.
Michael recalls later that the DCI “lost it completely.”
Placing his notepad on the meeting table, the DCI says to Jane: “With you, it is all about who he is.”
Jane is unable to hide her dismay. Distraught, she is led away by Michael and the liaison officer.
In her final words to the DCI, she says: “No. It is about what he has done.”
Exaro is protecting the real identity of “Jane” and “Michael”.
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