Prosecutors in rape cases, where the victim has learning
difficulties, are not always aware of how to handle the issues
involved, according to a new report.
Prosecutors may face difficulties in approaching the question of
the victim’s abilities, the report by the Inspectorate of
Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate
The report also refers to a case where a an expert was asked to
ascertain whether or not two victims were capable of giving consent
and/or exercising judgement, their level of capabilities and
whether they could give reliable evidence. The case was dropped as
a result of the expert’s report.
“This case demonstrates the difficulty that can be encountered
when trying to review cases where the victim has learning
difficulties,” the report says.
Richard Kramer, head of campaigns at learning difficulty charity
Mencap, commenting on the report, which showed just 7.25 per cent
of rape cases are successfully convicted, said: “Sex abuse of
adults with a learning disability is four times higher than the
rest of the population. Only 6 per cent of the 1,400 reported cases
a year get to court.”
Only one in 284 suspected cases resulted in conviction,
according to Mencap’s past research, he added.
The report is available from 020 7210 1197.