Thursday, 10 July 2008

The Verdict

The RFU's disciplinary officer Judge Jeff Blackett today finally published the results of his investigations into what happened in Auckland the night after the 1st Test against the All Blacks.

The players investigated by Auckland police in connection with an alleged rape have been named - Topsy Ojo, Mike Brown and Danny Care (plus one other unnamed player the police wished to interview but only as a potential witness).

However, Judge Blackett's conclusions, based on the individual accounts of each of the three players, David Strettle (who was not even the subject of the police investigation, despite press speculation to the contrary) and various other witnesses in the hotel, was that no criminal wrongdoing had taken place.

Care and Strettle were completely exonerated by Judge Blackett of any misconduct. Brown was fined £1,000 for “staying out all night during an England rugby tour” and missing a physiotherapist appointment, while Ojo was hit with a £500 fine, also for staying out all night.

So, stupid? Yes. Criminal? No. And the alleged victim can really have no complaints with these conclusions given her refusal to make a formal complaint or even to co-operate with Judge Blackett's investigation - an investigation certainly not helped by the decision of the alleged victim to release publicly the contents of a letter from her solicitors to Judge Blackett or by the fact that the alleged victim's "spokesperson", one Glenda Hughes, has made public statements about the detail of the case.

Apparently the alleged victim will not make a formal complaint as doing so "would threaten her privacy." Instead she has chosen to make her complaints public via the media - a sure fire way to provoke further media speculation and investigation and, if the tabloid hyenas have their way, to reveal her identity. Call me an old cynic, but it's not beyond the realms of possibility that this may well be the long term game plan - the price of her "exclusive" story increasing with each day that speculation as to her identity mounts.

This isn't over yet...

Read judge Blackett's full report.


Nursedude said...

The way the so-called victim is acting in this incident is just what makes it so tough for women who are REALLY assaulted.

Total Flanker said...

I guess it's possible that she's telling the truth but genuinely doesn't want to go through the ordeal of giving evidence - if so, however, she's being incredibly poorly advised in telling her side of things via the media - tabloid journalists tend not to be that senstive when it comes to preserving someone's privacy.