I’ll be publishing my compilation of case histories of false allegations of sexual assault in the next couple of days. Here are a further two cases from the set to be going on with…
Darryl Gee, John Hudson and an Anonymous Woman
There was good news and bad news for Darryl Gee in 2006.
The good news was he had been exonerated of the rape for which he was jailed in 2000.
The bad news is he was dead.
He’d died in prison four years before, after serving two years as an innocent man. He died shortly after his second appeal had failed.
Mr Gee had been a music teacher. A woman had accused him of raping her as a 10 year old girl in a school classroom and in the school staff room ten years earlier. There was no corroborating evidence or adverse witness testimony, despite the helpline set up by the local council to flush out further evidence against Mr Gee. Gee could not deny that he and the pupil had been alone (she was the only member of her class who was learning French horn). But unlocked rooms where anyone could catch an attacker in flagrante delicto were hardly the typical location for a violent attack.
Nevertheless, Mr Gee was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
More damningly, the same complainant had made virtually identical allegations against another man, John Hudson, who was jailed for 12 years. This appears not to have perturbed anyone. (Mr Hudson’s conviction was also later overturned).
But the additional evidence which eventually earned Mr Gee’s exoneration, albeit post-mortem, came about due to a friend of the family who was a consultant physician. This doctor knew that Mr Gee had a serious spinal curvature problem (having two more ribs on one side of his body than the other). As a consequence Mr Gee was slow and awkward in his movements. It was difficult to see how he could have been physically capable of doing what was alleged – in fact, impossible, the doctor argued.
Mr Gee should never have been tried let alone convicted. His 88 year old mother was more concerned about how her son could have been convicted with no corroborating evidence. Me too, yet the case histories I have compiled show time after time that men are regularly sent to prison for very long stretches based on nothing but the allegation. Mrs Gee senior said “I still don’t understand why that girl said what she did“. No – that, too, is often a mystery.
Shannon Taylor and Warren Blackwell
Warren Blackwell, 40, spent three years and four months in jail as a convicted sex attacker until his ‘victim’ was unmasked as a fantasist who had accused other blameless men. We only know the name of the false accuser, Shannon Taylor, because she was named under Parliamentary privilege.
She was never prosecuted despite having made seven other false sex attack allegations before that of the unfortunate Mr Blackwell, including one against her father. Taylor apparently kept changing her name and moving, so police forces did not realise they were dealing with the same woman.
Taylor said Mr Blackwell seized her at knifepoint outside a village club early on New Year’s Day, marched her down an alleyway and indecently assaulted her. Mr Blackwell was jailed, initially for three years but later increased to five, despite no forensic evidence to back up the claims. Mr Blackwell was jailed simply on the word of Taylor. That is always a very bad basis for justice – but particularly so in this case. Mr Blackwell understandably reacted with fury after learning that police knew all along that the woman was unreliable. A report revealed that officers were told that Taylor was ‘unreliable’, ‘ unstable’ and craved attention – but they failed to disclose it at his trial.
Shannon Taylor’s own mother has described her as “a persistent liar, very manipulative and a bully” who frequently claimed to have been beaten, sexually attacked and raped – all of which were untrue. Taylor’s own daughter said, “she is a danger and the public needs to be warned. She needs prosecuting for what she did. She is every man’s worst nightmare.” As far as I am aware Taylor was never prosecuted.
After Mr Blackwell was released from prison, the Home Office sent him a bill for £6,800 for his Board & Lodging whilst inside. You really couldn’t make this up, could you? It’s OK, though, they changed their minds later…..they actually charged him £12,500!