Gregg Hands MP
House of Commons
London SW1A OAA
Dear Gregg Hands,
Re: Eleanor De Frietas, false rape allegation.
I’m afraid I have some bad news. On Friday 4th April, Eleanor de Freitas took her own life. She was due to stand trial yesterday at Southwark Crown Court, for perverting the course of justice. This is truly is an awful thing to have happened and my heart goes out to the family who are innocent bystanders. Even though she did what she did, no one wished this upon her.
Yesterday morning there was a short hearing at Southwark Crown Court (which a paralegal attended to take notes) where her defence barrister told the judge that she had was found hanged by her mother on Friday afternoon at the family home, where she had left a note saying that she felt “trapped by the system”. The file was closed by the judge. There were no press present.
Whilst waiting to enter the court yesterday, the defence solicitor approached my paralegal (assuming it was a member of the public) and stated: This is an awful case in which there is a girl on trial who should not have been on trial and she has taken her life.
I thought I should tell you as soon as possible, as it is likely that this may come to press in the future and could be discussion point, with regards to false allegations of rape in general. In the meantime I will be taking proactive measures to keep this out of the press, as I do not want my name associated with this.
However, once things have blown over there are things that need to be addressed. In the last 16 months my lawyers spent 900+ man hours on this case. During that time we had multiple communications with the police and CPS and we learnt rather a lot. The CPS were very open with my lawyers and we worked with them for the last 5 months. I can tell you that it appears she had made false allegations against another man prior to the one she made against me and that the CPS were going to use that in the trial.
In my last letter I explained how the police were refusing to co-operate with the CPS and refusing to disclose information. (This was publicly stated at court on the 24th January 2014, by the CPS barrister). Were the police trying to hide information that showed the girl to have lied before? If so, why? Also, if they knew she had a history of false allegations then why did the police never interview the girl and ask her what she was doing in an Ann Summers shop buying sex toys, or ask her questions about the various messages she had sent stating that she really liked me – in the hours after the alleged attack. Despite all of this, it appears that the girl was never interviewed by the police as a suspect - ever.
In 2013 the CPS published a report on false allegations of rape. In the report they said that the DPP had studied all false rape allegations (brought to them by police) for 17 months. From my experience ( my lawyers working alongside them for the last 5 months) the CPS have been very thorough in this case and their decision making process has been very good. It seems they have a system set in place for dealing with these complicated matters and it works. Unfortunately you need rather a lot of evidence, but when it is there they take it seriously.
However when it comes to the police, and more specifically the metropolitan police it seems the opposite is true. They don’t know how to handle these matters. There is confusion as to what the law is. There seems to be no system in place. There seems to be a conflict of interest and a fear of prosecuting those who make false allegations.
If there is anything positive to come from this awful ordeal then it would be to try to persuade the Metropolitan Police to review how they handle these types of complaints, especially when there is evidence that the allegation was false. That would be my goal. Not right this second, but when things have calmed down. I have also written to Lord Campbell Savours telling him that I would be prepared to share the information related to this case with him, should that help his cause into finding a better way of handling these types of complaints.
Thank you for your help with this matter. It has been greatly appreciated. Hopefully something constructive can eventually come out of all this.