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Publication - Report

Investigation and prosecution of sexual crimes: review

Published: 16 Nov 2017
Part of:
Law and order, Public safety and emergencies
ISBN:
9781788514293

The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland's review of the investigation and prosecution of sexual crimes by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

88 page PDF

1.8MB

88 page PDF

1.8MB

Contents
Investigation and prosecution of sexual crimes: review
Case Study

88 page PDF

1.8MB

Case Study

Investigation

Inquiry into sexual and physical abuse of male children at an orphanage and school in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Police Reporting

  • 6 accused reported
  • 50 sexual crimes, committed against 22 victims. Also charges of physical abuse

Prosecution Strategy

Project Management Approach:

  • Early liaison between police and prosecutor
  • Early allocation of Crown Counsel
  • Dedicated prosecution team formed including: Case preparer, Fiscal Officer, VIA officer, Crown Counsel

Investigation

Lines Of Investigation

Witness Statements/Productions:

Consideration of:

  • 3 police reports
  • 155 witness statements
  • 240 productions

Additional victims:

Number of victims of sexual crimes rose to 31; 20 were older persons (over 60 years old)

Interviews:

All adult victims of sexual crimes in a potential High Court case are interviewed by prosecutors, here:

  • A meeting took place with all 31 victims of sexual crimes
  • 23 were interviewed by the case preparer (other witnesses did not engage or were medically unfit/dead)

Sensitive records:

  • 27 sets of social work records recovered
  • Medical and school records were obtained –some records held overseas were requested from foreign jurisdiction by International Letters of Request- a time –consuming process outwith the control of COPFS

Expert evidence:

Expert opinion was obtained on:

  • Delayed and staged disclosure of victims
  • Continuing association with accused
  • Ability of some victims to give evidence

Evidential Considerations

  • Identification of accused - given the passage of time – the accused were identified from school photos
  • Applicability of Moorov doctrine – reviewed throughout the life of the case and reconsidered when any victim(s) disengaged
  • Dates of charges – records were obtained to assist with pin pointing dates

Victims

Victim Strategy

  • Meetings held with all 31 victims of sexual crimes
  • Monthly contact made with 27 victims

Court Proceedings

  • 129 witnesses on the indictment
  • 67 given notice to attend for trial
  • 4 victims were not traced/not co-operate – resulting in a number of charges being withdrawn by the prosecutor
  • 19 Vulnerable Witness Notices lodged
  • 1 Evidence on Commission arranged
  • 29 witnesses gave evidence
  • All victims were met by the trial prosecutor prior to giving evidence
  • 10 victims attended for sentencing
  • All victims offered a meeting with the prosecutor to discuss the outcome

Procedural History

Accused 1 2 3 4 5 6
SPR 30/04/14
02/05/14
30/04/14
01/05/14
30/04/14 30/04/14 30/04/14 30/04/14
CFE 09/07/14 09/07/14 03/07/14 03/07/14 03/07/14 03/07/14
No of victims 19 18 5 2 1 1
Case reported to Crown Office 03/03/15 03/03/15 03/03/15 03/03/15 03/03/15 03/03/15
Service of Indictment 31/03/15 31/03/15 31/03/15 31/03/15 31/03/15 NFP
Charges on indictment [43] 43 charges 63 charges 16 charges 5 charges 10 charges
No of victims [44] 28 38 13 5 10
PH 20/05/15 20/05/15 20/05/15 20/05/15 20/05/15
CPH 21/07/15 21/07/15 21/07/15 21/07/15 21/07/15
CPH 16/09/15 16/09/15 16/09/15 16/09/15 16/09/15
Trial 21/04/16 21/04/16 21/04/16 21/04/16 21/04/16
Charges considered by the Jury 23 charges 28 charges APNG NCA NCA
Verdict ( FG) 3 charges 6 charges



No of victims [45] 3 3



Sentencing 5 years imprisonment 10 years imprisonment



SPR = Standard Police Report
CFE = Continued for Further Examination
PH = Preliminary Hearing
CPH = Continued Preliminary Hearing
FG = Found Guilty
NFP = No Further Proceedings
APNG = Accepted Plea of Not Guilty
NCA = No Case to Answer


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