Last year in November, a teenager had been accused for raping a woman at a field in Manchester, United Kingdom. Zachary Benn, 19, was charged with single counts of rape, sexual assault, blackmail, robbery, and possession of a bladed article.
The young man has now been acquitted after spending nearly six-months in jail, as the court discovered several statements by the complainant which were “not true”.
The complainant, who is also in her teens, reported that she was raped in the field off New Allen Street, Manchester on August 9, 2020. The man was later arrested and put in prison in November 2020.
However, Benn is now a free man after the court acquitted him from the said charges on account of no evidence found.
As reported by Manchester Evening News (MEN), the court heard how the complainant had admitted to telling untruths and further enquiries by the police and fire service had uncovered more untruths. As a result, despite sticking to her account of the day in question, it was deemed there was not a realistic chance of a conviction.
The court also observed, that Benn who was studying for a geography degree at the time of the charges, had no previous convictions. The man had spent six months in prison. Recorder Abigail Hudson said:
It is extremely regrettable that on the date of trial all these difficulties have come to the fore after a lot of public money has been spent.
Adding further Hudson said,
It is extremely regrettable that he (Mr Benn) should have been incarcerated for no good reason.
Speaking to the MEN, Solicitor Caitriona McLaughlin of Stokoe Partnership Solicitors said she wished anonymity was granted for the defendant as well as the complainant. She exclaimed,
He has had his life turned upside down and back to front but google his name and this will come up and it will be up there forever. He is a young man and it is just awful.
Speaking to MEN, Benn expressed,
I was taken from my house and put in prison. I was cut off from everyone from school and university and did not have a support group. I lost my degree, something I have wanted since I was 10-years-old.
Sharing further, Benn said,
I spent Christmas in prison. I was not with my family and I couldn’t talk to them. I was close to taking my own life. It does not feel real to me and I don’t have closure. My life will not be the same again. When I leave here I will not get my life back.
- False cases misusing Gender Biased Laws against Men, is a blot in the name of womanhood, where some women take advantage of laws which are created for their protection and justice
- It is impossible for anyone to fathom the amount of trauma, shame, loss of reputation and career, falsely accused men face – the scars of which are completely irreversible
- On the other hand, if women who file false cases go unpunished, genuine victims of heinous crimes will also be looked upon with doubt in the future
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