Fantastic to see justice done and PC Carter return to work …
I hope his colleagues support him in what will be a potentially difficult transition back into work after so much time away
Questions still need to be asked about the conduct of both some of those who accused PC Carter (did they attempt to pervert justice and commit perjury?) and the propriety of West Yorks Police professional standards team …
Good luck on returning to work and reeatablishing your career
Just because some is found not guilty doesn’t neccessarily mean they are not, it merely indicates that they were not beyond reasonable doubt guilty of the alleged offence.
To punish someone who makes a complaint for making an allegation which is then not succesful may well put others of from doing so in the future. I think it should be viewed as well done on the Police Service for investigating the offence and referring it to the CPS – as opposed to what is often stated that they don’t take crimes reported by gays seriously.
He is however now free to pursue his career so good luck to him and all the best for the future.
Phil – what about the presumption of inoccent until proven guilty.
If we follow your argument anyone who has ever been tried and found not guilty may well have done the deed, but it could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Police and CPS do actually make mistakes as has been proven on more than one ocassion, so great they investigated, but the fact that he was acquited in law means he is innocent.
I make no comment on the acquittal of this officer, which has been established. However, it is wrong to say that an acquittal means that the person innocent. In some circumstances, a person who has been found not-guilty once can be re-tried and found guilty on a second occasion.
The legal term is for someone to have been found “not guilty”. There is no finding of “innocence”. That is because the prosecution must prove the case to a jury “so that they are sure”. If the jury are not “sure” then they must acquit.
A case can be proved on the balance of probabilities in a civil court where a verdict of “not guilty” was returned in a criminal court on a higher standard of proof.
In R (Mullen) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKHL 18,  AC 1, Lord Steyn repeated Lord Justice Schiemann’s observation that “our criminal law system does not provide for proof of innocence.”
This was a criminal court case where the burden of proof is against all reasonable doubt, NOT the balance of probabilities.
Yes – I said that Stu. The standard was the criminal standard. Judges do not, however, tell juries that the standard as “beyond reasonable doubt”. That is not the right description. The correct description is that a juror has to be “satisfied so that they are sure”: R v Kritz  1 KB 82.
All I have said is that the verdict delivered by a jury is “not guilty” rather than “innocent”. The English courts have made clear that there is no verdict of “proved innocent” only that of “not guilty”.
Therefore, when a person is found not guilty of a crime, their cash or assets can still be forfeited, alternatively they can be convicted at a second trial, and they can be prevented from working with children and vulnerable adults.
It seems strange to use the argument of seizing goods when someone has been acquitted of rape!
I do not believe Lord Justice Schiemanns quote can be taken out of context to refer to every finding of not guilty … nor do I think he intended that to be the case …
Even if he did, I think this would further emphasize the legitimate action to prosecute those who made the allegations against PC Carter for attempting to pervert justice.
It seems to me that whilst it is right the the double jeopardy rule has been removed where there is significant new evidence that emerges – it is against natural justice to cast doubt of the innocence of someone found “not guilty” and if the courts can not do this – then the system should endeavour to prosecute those who made the unfounded allegations.
A not guilty verdict is a legal statement, not a factual one. It is not a ‘proven innocent’ statement. I gave you the case reference so you can read that the English courts have said that as a matter of principle, a not guilty verdict is not the same as that of proven innocent.
The courts have not said that the accuser was telling lies. It has determined, however, that his evidence does not meet the high criminal standard. I am confident that there are raped women whose attackers are found not guilty because of unfair questions about the woman’s sexual history or that she knew the attacker or because she was drinking.
The way courts work in Enland, lawyers are permitted to ask leaning questions that twist the evidence. It is well reported in English newspapers that raped women say that to be cross examined in court is like being raped twice – and that their words are twisted and misrepresented. Perhaps that is why rape convictions are so low.
I have read the case (several years ago) and its legal debate – and not every legal mind shares your interpretation of how Lord Justice Schiemann intended his judgement to be seen.
I did not say the court has said the alleged injured party in the rape case were telling lies. I said the criminal justice system (including eventually the courts) should test whether they are or not.
I see you are falling into the trap that many lawyers fall into. A trap that many police and other agency professionals dealing with sexual offences find frustrating and damaging- that of defining the survivor of rape as being definitively female. This further undermines the likelihood of male victims coming forward as they perceive they will be taken even less seriously because “rape is not a crime that happens to men”. Of course that is absolutely wrong.
The reason why rape convictions are low are many and complex (although they are not significantly lower than our Euro counterparts) …
… part of that is due to the adversarial approach to trials in England and Wales. Although I would prefer to see a guilty person go free than an innocent person be imprisoned.
I also believe that those who are found not guilty deserve respect and not to be maligned by speculative comments such as yours saying “that does not mean they have not committed the crime” and casting doubt on their “innocence”.
Lord Justice Schiemann has been quoted since 2005 as stating there is nothing in his judgement that alters the presumption of innocence of a person. Thus, someone who has not been proven guilty is deemed to be innocent.
Presumed in law, yes. Fact is otherwise. Most people involved in rape cases even of acquitted wil carry the facts of the matter on an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate and may be denied the ability to work with children or vulnerable adults.
I have cast no doubt on the innocence of this officer. What I have cast doubt on is the statement that in England a not guilty verdict is the same as a declaration of being innocent.
Repeating grand statements about preferring the guilty to go free rather than the innocent t be convicted is mere principle with which we can all agree. The adversarial system has, however, demonstrated gross miscarriages of justice where the innocent have been convicted – in relation to terrorism suspects, the solicitor Sally Clark wrongly convicted of murding her daughter, Barry George wrongly convicted of murdering Jill Dando, Suzanne Holdsworth wrongly convicted of murdering a two-year old, Angela Cannings wrongly convicted for murdering her sons.
On the flip side, many criminals who have committed rape escape conviction either because the woman is a street-worker, or knew the male as a friend, or has a history of sexual activity or because they cannot bear to face being cross-examined by a hard-nosed advocate.
This is an extract from the recent 2011 case of Gale v Serious Organised Crime Agency  UKSC 49 (available on the Supreme Court website)
Lord Brown – a Supreme Court judge:
115. Obviously, in all proceedings following an acquittal the court should be astute to ensure that nothing that it says or decides is calculated to cast the least doubt upon the correctness of the acquittal. But the point to be emphasised is that the acquittal is correct because, and only because, the prosecution failed in the criminal proceedings to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty. Not having been proved guilty to the criminal standard, the defendant is not thereafter to be branded a criminal and no criminal penalty can properly be exacted from him. But, contrary to widespread popular misconception, acquittal does not prove the defendant innocent.
Your very mentioning that a finding of not guilty does not mean that the person is innocent when connected a story concerning an individual means, whether deliberately provocative or not, you are casting doubt on PC Carters innocence. That, is wrong.
In terms of safeguarding, it is possible that those wrongly accused and acquitted of sexual assault will have entries on an enhanced disclosure. There should be two safeguards still for those individuals. Firstly, the Safeguarding agency is able to obtain the files of individual matters and review whether or not the person concerned is a suitable candidate to work with vulnerable people. A single acquittal without any other matters of concern (whether leading to prosecution or not) is unlikely to lead to a ban, and many cases are referred to the Safeguarding agency for consideration. Secondly, the individual employer can choose to seek further information from either the agency or the individual or both. As a child…
… protection advisor for charities I have both advised against employment of those with enhanced disclosure issues and reviewed cases and advised I have no significant concerns and those individuals have been employed. Clearly, if the individual had serial acquittals this would potentially raise the bar of risk and concern (but one might ask the Safeguarding agency if they could identify if there was any commonalities in the cases which might suggest either concern regarding the individual or malice towards the individual).
You might say I am making grand statements about presumption of innocence. I am merely recognising one the foundation stones of the English legal system. You can quote many cases of injustice by the system and some of them emotive, well publicised cases – that argument about the integrity of the system should be had away from the case of PC Carter. Its disingenuous of you to suggest that making these comments about his “not guilty” verdict not meaning he is
… innocent does anything other than cast aspersions on PC Carters character.
I would totally concur with Lord Browns comments. I would argue the manner you bring this argument forth is deliberately seeking to cast doubt on PC Carters innocence and defammatory.
I would refer you also to Lord Binghams comments:
“The expression “wrongful convictions” is not a legal term of art and it has no settled meaning. Plainly the expression includes the conviction of those who are innocent of the crime of which they have been convicted. But in ordinary parlance the expression would, I think, be extended to those who, whether guilty or not, should clearly not have been convicted at their trials. It is impossible and unnecessary to identify the manifold reasons why a defendant may be convicted when he should not have been. It may be because the evidence against him was fabricated or perjured. It may be because flawed expert evidence was relied on to secure conviction. It may be because evidence helpful to the defence was concealed or withheld. It may be because the jury was the subject of malicious interference. It may be because of judicial unfairness or misdirection. In cases of this kind, it may, or more often may not, be ///
… to say that a defendant is innocent, but it is possible to say that he has been wrongly convicted. The common factor in such cases is that something has gone seriously wrong in the investigation of the offence or the conduct of the trial, resulting in the conviction of someone who should not have been convicted.”
Thus someone who should have been presumed innocent was not and the law did not allow that presumption because the law did not function effectively.
Thus to say the person is not innocent is merely administrative to deal with issues such as compensation and not to deal with how the individual was maligned.
You keep moving the target. I have revisited what I first posted which was, “I make no comment on the acquittal of this officer, which has been established. However, it is wrong to say that an acquittal means that the person innocent.”
I have demonstrated that by referring to two legal cases. If you have complaints, they are better directed to your own judges and politicians.
No, my complaint is not with the English legal system
My complaint is with you
You are the one being disingenuous about deciding to harp on about the difference between being found not guilty and being innocent but claiming to not mean to infer anything to the particular individual … its not possible for that to occur … you cause that inference by utilising your argument on a thread about a person who has been found not guilty …
Disappointing if you believe in natural justice that you should do this
At no point have I changed my goal posts … I have been very clear throughout in my views that your comments are wrong and condemning a man who has been found not guilty.
You have called me disingenuous and defamatory because I have disagreed with you, which is disappointing. I hope that you did not behave like that when working for the police.
I posted in response to someone saying that this person had been pried innocent to say that there was no such thing in England. I made no comment on the case or its facts – which would otherwise be difficult to do as I was not a juror on it.
I posted the message on this thread rather than any other because it was on this story that someone wrote about being proved innocent. I would have posted it on any other story where someone had said the same thing.
I maintain what I said in my first post, which remains correct. It must be so, because it is possible for the accuser himself to be prosecuted for perjury and for a jury to find him not guilty. Which would mean a not guilty verdict for the original defendant and a not guilty verdict for his accuser.
It is also of great concern that in rape cases generally, the conviction rate is far lower than for other matters and that groups such as Women Against Rape made proper complaints about the unfairness of the adversarial trial and how it treats the victim as the defendant. Helena Kennedy, a feminist lawyer, makes similar comments in her book ‘Eve was framed’.
Perhaps it is time to put to one side the magisterial blindness as to the very real defects in the English and American legal systems and to harmonise with those in Europe where questions and investigations are directed impartially by judges rather than one-sided lawyers.
“I hope you did not behave like that when working for the police”
Well, professionally I would challenge people – thats perhaps where evidence gathering through interview and interrrogation come in. All done fairly, with the opportunity for the suspect to give their account. Professionally I would not discuss or comment on cases outside of a professional context – so maligning my former professionalism by your curt remark is out of place.
I continue to perceive that your choice of arena to make these comments is wrong and, whether deliberate or not, does cause people to believe that you doubt the integrity of PC Carter – or cause others to doubt it.
The European model of judicial review is far from perfect. The European model of policing is often disappointing.
Far from being a model of just the UK and US – try Ireland, NZ, Australia, South Africa, many African and Caribbean states, some South Asian states etc …
The reason for low rape convictions is complex.
I am fully aware of that as a former police sexual offence liaison officer – but given some of the facts reported from court in this matter I believe prosecuting those making the allegations proven to be untrue may be justifiable …
When I started investigating sexual offences it was a virtual policy that false allegations would not be prosecuted so that they would not deter genuine complaints. However, that has evolved and there now is an assessment on the merits of each case and some are prosecuted (those who have false accusations against them also deserve protection under the law).
In English law there is no verdict of “not proven” so legally PC Carter is innocent … and the evidence certainly suggests he always has been innocent of the accusations made against him
Having re-read my post i can see i wasn’t all that clear, as a current serving Police officer, my force has a pretty much 0% rate of prosecuting those who make false allegations and this leads to problems of serial reporters, however unless it is blatently and painfully obvious that the allegations were malicious then the complainants in this shouldn’t be prosecuted in my opinion.
Stu, I’m sure given your experience you will understand by what i mean when seemingly rock solid cases are presented before the CPS/court only for a no further action/not guilty verdicts to be returned.
I do however believe that it is always better that a guilty person is freed than an innocent man be sent to jail so do have some belief in the current system :).
The force I used to work for (and others I have had contact with in my subsequent professional life) seem to take the view that its a difficult balance to strike between seeking not to discourage genuine complainants and almost encouraging false accusations by failing to confront them legally. One of the first cases that my old force referred to the CPS for prosecution (successfully) involved me and although it was a plea to wasting police time at court, the charge had been attempting to pervert justice. The circumstances were unusual it has to be said though to merit the charge given the approach that had previously been taken.
I definitely know what you mean by rock solid cases presented to CPS/court only for NFA or not guilty. Its bad enough when its a theft and they are “banged to rights” but if its a sexual offence and the evidence is good, its particularly disheartening for the survivor and the investigators. Like you I would always rather see a guilty man walk ….
… free than an innocent be incarcerated for an offence they have not committed.
I do believe the checks and balances in place are right to ensure justice and probity.
Sometimes court results must lead the police to consider if they need to do anything more eg if there is good evidence that someone has lied on oath – is it in the public interest to consider that as a criminal matter?
This is a further extract from the 2011 case of Gale v Serious Organised Crime Agency  UKSC 49 (available on the Supreme Court website)
It is not the job of a jury to find a defendant innocent – it is to decide if they are guilty or not …
To then suggest that the jury (or court) did not decide they are innocent is a disingenuous and provocative argument.
Can I suggest Phil you read a detailed account of the trial.
That his accuser isn’t now behind bars is the real crime that was committed. Its one thing for someone to make allegations that don’t have the level of proof to gain a successful prosecution and its another to fabricate a tissue of lies that have no basis in truth whatsoever.
The case should never have got to court and possibly only did so because the CPS didn’t want to appear to be taking allegations against a police officer lightly.
His accusers was a dysfunctional fantasist who deserves to be behind bars.
This entire case is all very weird. Since he was found not guilty the identity of his accuser nor their prosecution has come to light.
Also what is this disciplinary action he was allowed to return to work after ? He has been cleared of all accusations against him that we know of externaly and internaly.
Seems to me he was treated as guilty from the start and like any buisness they will now use all this against him for any issues they have with him.
He should never of been suspended. Moment you do that you are going from a neutral objective standing to siding with the accuser.
I’m sorry but suspending someone on Full pay is a standard thing, this is in place to protect people and the police. Listen being found not guilty means Justice prevailed.
This guy was always going to be a target, former Mr Gay UK and police officer.
Absolutely, any police officer arrested can expect to be suspended as a neutral act whilst both criminal and disciplinary matters have been handled appropriately … it is the correct action to take to protect the police service, the public and the officer …
There were other matters that were looked at some of which led to criminal charges (ie steroids) but the court accepted PC Carters explanation. The level of proof for disciplinary matters in the police is a lower burden of proof than for criminal matters. Its feasible that in the enquiry professional standards also encountered some misdemeanours. He could have been warned, fined a weeks pay etc. under the police discipline code. What matters is that PC Carter is an innocent man and able to return to his career and serve the public.
i imagine the disciplinary was about bringing the force into disrepute (linked to the anabolic steriods), but I am only surmising here.
Great to see Mark back at work, i just hope that his LPT are supportive- transitioning back from suspension to full duties is going to be tough.
The anti gay people like the Christians and Catholics and secret police people who are anti gay always use black propaganda ( rumors or lies to smear or destroy someones reputation ), it is a tool of psychological warfare being used today in the world to destroy LGBT people where they can not out right get away with shooting and beating and arresting and jailing LGBT people. You see killing gays leaves a trail of blood and psychological warfare and operations destroys from with in with out leave a clear blood trail to follow back to the criminals and insane people who want to kill and destroy people, like some of the above mentioned religions and government people. Thank God he was cleared of the charges and that is the way to deal with the evil people who try to destroy LGBT people, prove them wrong and expose the truth. Any time a good man stands up for a good cause the crazies go after her or her.
I am happy to see PC Carter able to pick up the pieces and return to his career.
I had often wondered if he had returned to the police force – transfer or would he
even wished to after his experience.
Cleared on all counts… and then returning to work with some disciplinary action? The actions of his accusers and now this makes me wonder why or who is holding some thing against him?
PC Carter should be able to return to work without potential disciplinary consequences to intimidate him. I wish you well!
Sadly having experienced the “internal affairs” or Professional Standards Branch of the police force bringing a false accusation to court and then wrongly convicting someone close to me, I very much feel for the pain and suffering PC Carter has experienced.
What angers me is that PC Carter will probably have done nothing wrong, but will now have a permanent mark on his record, and due to the nature of the accusations will also now have a “blotch” on any CRB check that is completed against him. As he has been suspected of a sexual offence, it will now show any time he has a CRB check – innocent or not.
The further sad point is that PC Carter will now be watched very closely by his PSB, who will be looking to trip him up, as they will have been embarrassed by his acquittal.
My best advice to you PC Carter is to opt into the Australian transfer scheme and get out of the UK.
Now listen here people! This entire investigation was a waste of public finance. It is quite obvious that PC Carter would not NEED to rape any gay man, because every gay man would be grateful to receive his cock. And any gay man who says otherwise is in DENIAL. As a cock-loving homo, even if I were hungover and bed-ridden with fly, I would lube-up and bend over if PC Carter were ever to make the demand. And this would apply to virtually ALL gay men. So, let’s get real! The balance of probabilities is that an accusation of rape against this hot boycandy can only ever be false (until he becomes a fugly).
Moron. MORON. I can.t believe what a moron you are.
Rape is a serious allegation and although PC Mark Carter is innocent mud does stick. There has been calls for suspected rapists to be given anonyminity until the outcome of the trial when their names can be published in the event of a guilty verdict.
Mud and so much more! as Daniel H says in his comment…even cleared record checks and other files don’t disappear with an innocent verdict. The world wide web is full of information that never gets cleared when a person is innocent. Some people never know how things turn up like bad pennies years into their future. Innocent before accused, found innocent, yet haunted into your future.
I can see that one from both sides … there are a very small number of people whom there are strong reasons for law enforcement to have concerns about but there is insufficient evidence to convict – in a variety of criminal enterprises. Clearly, in some of those areas eg terrorism, child abuse, sexual offences, firearms etc; there will be a need to collate the intelligence that exists and determine whether or not it is “in the public interest” to release that information. The release of that information should not, in itself, provide a foregone conclusion that negatively impacts on the ability of that individual to do or not do a certain task or job but should cause the employer etc to consider whether additional information and risk assessment needs to occur. This process has prevented some people who have later gone on to seriously offend from accessing certain people groups. Its a fine line and a difficult balance to achieve.
I absolutely concur! it is a fine line and the merits can’t be understated where potential re offense are concerned.
Being of a generation where prior to DNA I recall examples of false allegations, be they paternity divorce, custody etc
when people who have been prosecuted/charged for sex crimes because people erred on the side of caution despite evidence, are found guilty and later cleared by DNA who find their lives impossible because they can’t get their names of list and registers etc.
I realize that it’s not a perfect world and there are just as many “innocent” people in jails as there are “guilty” on the streets.
Pc Carter i wish you all the best….hope you find mr right and enjoy life….remember that all people are not bad the next time you make an arrest….
good luck xx
What exactly would they need to take ‘some disciplinary action’ if he’s not guilty of anything?
Surely they should be bloody COMPENSATING him shouldnt they?
It probably is nothing connected to the rape allegation and some other disciplinary (non criminal) matter that was discovered during the investiagtion