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Use 'complainant' not 'victim' until crime is proven says judge
Use of word 'victim' clouds judgment says judge

19 Dec 2017 / judiciary Print

British judge slates use of word victim ahead of verdict

Retired British High Court Judge Sir Richard Henriques has said that people should not ‘victims’until it is proven that they are the victim of a crime.

The distinguished judge, who as a QC prosecuted serial killer Dr Harold Shipman and the murderers of toddler Jamie Bulger, has said that the word‘complainant'should be used instead.

He believes the word ‘victim’can cloud the judgment of those working on a case.

The judge was speaking following the collapse of several high-profile rape cases in Britain where crucial evidence was withheld from defence lawyers and police were found not to have conducted a proper investigation.

The judge said that police officers should be trained not to automatically assume tha suspects are guilty but should investigate complaints with an open mind as to whether they are genuine or false.

Burden of proof 'reversed'

The London Metropolitan Police is now reviewing 30 rape inquiries. The judge added:“The cases that have emerged over the last week demonstrate that the burden of proof is being reversed. It’s flawed.”

Jerry Hayes, the prosecuting barrister in the collapsed rape trial against student Liam Allan, 22, told BBC Radio 4 that anyone about to go to trial should seek a letter from the relevant police force to say that all evidence has been disclosed.

The number of rapes reported in Britain went

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