David Malone acts pro bono in the double appeal of woman jailed for falsely retracting rape claim

June 1, 2016

A woman who was raped by her husband retracted her allegation against him. Following this, she was sentenced to eight months for perverting the course of justice, although she was released on appeal after serving two weeks. She was awarded compenstation for her ordeal, however this was reduced by 70% because of the cost of the abandoned rape case and two minor driving convictions. This week she appeals the reduction.


The courts’ treatment of this woman has significantly changed the way government lawyers handle cases against women who withdraw rape claims and instead it is recognised that a failing in the managing of such cases has occurred.


Despite these changes, the victim’s convictions still remain. David Malone of Red Lion Chambers is currently working pro bono to essentially appeal the conviction before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). This is being done by a landmark challenge to the decision to prosecute her in the first place. In 2012 he commented, “Clearly the law must accommodate justice being done in this case or it should be changed.”


The decision on the criminal injuries compensation appeal has been reserved. The case before the ECtHR is still pending. Click here to read more.

In 2014 David was Specially Commended by the Bar Council for his pro bono work in another case in the field of sexual and domestic violence, which prompted the Government to announce a change in the law to protect the confidential details of victims.