Our thanks to Rick for this. An extract:
William works as a teacher and is married with grown up children.
Last year, he was charged with sexual assault following a complaint from a 17-year-old girl. She claimed he touched her inappropriately in a local shop and the allegation was backed up by a friend.
Her friend said she saw him approaching the teenager, his hand stretching forward to grope her. William denied the allegation.
In police interview, William was told the CCTV taken in the shop was of poor quality and too far away to pick him out, but his defence solicitor, Abu Kibla, said seeing the evidence was crucial.
He made six requests to the CPS to disclose the evidence, before receiving the footage three weeks before the trial.
Mr Kibla described finally reviewing the CCTV as a “eureka moment”.
“You can see he’s standing there selecting a sandwich; nothing untoward happened, so clearly a massive piece of evidence, integral to the whole case.”
At magistrates’ court, the case was dismissed with no case to answer, citing the footage as the reason.
Thames Valley Police said officers carried out a full investigation into the incident, and followed standard procedure throughout.
The CPS said it was “satisfied” the case was dealt with correctly.
“The prosecution put their case, the defence make their arguments and the court makes their decision. That’s the criminal justice system in action,” it said.
But William says the impact on his life has been huge. He is still suspended from teaching pending an internal investigation by his employer.
“I’m still nowhere near justice. It should never have made it to court. There was never any case to answer.
“Had I been found guilty, I would be permanently on a paedophile register. It’s a life-changing allegation.”