The aim of this website is twofold: to alert members of the public to the unsettling changes made to the way that trials of those accused of sex offences are carried out. A happy second aim, of course, is to see an innocent man freed and his name cleared.
With sexual assault cases, and the understandably rare existence of physical evidence available in most of them, it often ends up being one person’s word against another: difficult to prove and difficult to disprove. This makes the need for due process and adherence to established rule of law extremely important in order to avoid horrendous injustices.
Of paramount legal importance is the centuries old and globally admired dictum of ‘innocent until proven guilty’. Putting this another way, the burden of proof should always fall to the prosecution not the defence. In Stephen Hamilton’s case, and many like it, because of the worthy intention in recent times to uncover and convict more perpetrators of sexual crimes, this fundamental principle has started to unravel and almost be reversed. This is obviously resulting in more convictions in sexual abuse cases but at the troubling cost of a seeming increase in incorrect convictions. Lives are being wrecked.
The government’s own figures are that there an estimated 1 in 5 prisoners languishing in prison for crimes of which they are innocent (and, where a crime has occurred, the true criminals remain at large). In the case of those wrongly convicted for sex offences, not only are the sentences long, but their lives are changed forever, shattered. When they’re eventually released they still bear the label of “sex offender”, and must declare that label to any future employer making employment of any sort extremely difficult to obtain and almost never at the level that they were accustomed to before being sent down.