Our thanks to John for this. Extracts:
A teen accused of rape spent three months in custody because police did not disclose texts that proved his innocence. His alleged victim wrote in one message: “I’m not just going to mess his life up, I’m going to ruin it lol.” [J4MB emphasis]
Connor Fitzgerald, 19, had the rape charge against him thrown out when prosecutors discovered the texts. Fitzgerald, of South Norwood in south London, lost his job as a BT engineer because of the claim. [J4MB emphasis]
The charges were dropped at Croydon Crown Court last week when it emerged that the complainant, who will have lifelong anonymity, had sent texts threatening to destroy him.
“It’s been heart-breaking – It felt like I was guilty until proven innocent,” he told the Sun. “My life has been ruined. I’m scared to even leave the house because everyone thinks I’m a rapist.”…
Fitzgerald was arrested in front of his mother and sister in November when police officers raided his home. It followed a complaint that a woman made in June. She alleged Fitzgerald had raped her after a drunken night out.
After the arrest, he was denied bail and was held on remand at HMP High Down, a category-B prison in Banstead, Surrey.
He was reprieved after Fitzgerald’s brother found some of the text messages from the woman on his iCloud account and informed the authorities. Missing texts also showed the woman saying that she had enjoyed the sex.
Fitzgerald says he plans to sue the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). “If my brother hadn’t found the texts, I’d have ended up in prison for 12 years or more,” he said.