Transcript video Liam Allan – Behind the breakthrough: pressure and trauma
It is horrible knowing that there’s people in the cell screaming shouting banging next to you and you don’t belong in that place. You know in your head you don’t and then your mental health just starts to deteriorate and so quickly there’s from the second that you walk through that door and they shot it behind you…
January 2016, police officer knocked on my door and it really not necessarily a tiff of a confrontation in that aspect because I know that there was no reason for them to actually be there, in my mind, because I knew I hadn’t done anything that could have even brought them there, let alone what I was accused of and so when they initially came in, moms like the police won’t speak to you, can you knows what’s going on, and so.
I don’t know, they’ve asked, you know, we went up to the door, do you mind coming down for questioning, I’m not dressed and that. For them that was a sign of guilt that, no that I wasn’t dressed, it was more the sense of, I asked him, for they reminded me getting changed when I went down there and that was then when they went, oh can you jump out, but what can you jump out of a window, is there a back window drop out or a back door and all of these questions that are all like you can escape and I’ve not even I ‘don’t know what they’re here for yet.
You know they haven’t said you’re a tease of this and this, that came but half an hour, it’s how you know what I said seems like a stick and it wasn’t, I said do you mind if I speak while I get dressed so then you can that I still in the house and I’m still here and if my voice starts fading too much you know but be going somewhere and one of the police officers laughed, because he thought I was being just sake and the other one it just took it very seriously.
I went to walk through the door and whoa whoa whoa and you have a police officer oh I’m having a confrontation about like you know don’t come in the house you don’t even have any reason you haven’t given any information as why you’re at the door, let alone trying to get into the house.
Interviewer: Did they not said you are under arrest?
That didn’t come out of anybody’s mouth, you know, there were no handcuffs out, there was no nothing, it was a mind coming down for the station for some questions, it was very film like, you know, it was it’s a weird experience in a sense of I thought if you are under arrest, they tell you there and then straight away I get into the car and then they tell me that there’s been some serious accusations made against me, and now I’m under arrest and then they detail what the accusations were but not in depth.
About exactly how the accusations go on, and so forth from that and get down to the police station and you know I wait six and a half hours or something, stupid in a holding cell one of the police officers was nice enough to offer me a curry for dinner, which I turned down. I didn’t trust it and you know it, it’s horrible knowing that there’s people in the cells screaming shouting banging next to you and you don’t belong in that place you know in your head you don’t and then your mental health just starts to deteriorate and so quickly there’s from the second that you walk through that door and they shot it behind you.
I thought I’m not supposed to be here and you cut you don’t want to be the person that screaming hoot and let me out, let me out, you look crazy, but that’s what your head is doing, your head is sitting there, suddenly they asking questions they must have made a mistake, this must be wrong where’s this coming from?
Who said it who’s done this, who’s done what, you know, where could this have possibly got to this stage? And so you know the question in it was fairly casual, is just backdated on the relationship across the timespan, which it was that day would be about two thee years around that’s all time length and it’s just crazy, because when I hesitated at one point, they asked me if I had, if we tried something or something similar on those lines, and you know I’m trying to think back it’s a long time ago, so it took a little bit item to think back, because I’m trying to be as honest as possible in this stage and cooperate and that got taken as a sign of guilt instead and it’s it’s weird how those things can just be jumped and it’s very easy for it to be jumped on.
I suppose the police have some tracks got on with you know after I’ve been released and everything like that, I was one that was calling him, I was one that was in constant contact with him so the very person is investigating it. I was the one that was asking, you know okay well whatever the decision make, been made yet you know, if you finally find the truth and I’m my anxiety is kicking in, because I’m in the middle a university degree, I’m at work um you know I have a normal life and a very extraordinary, in the sense of, this doesn’t in my mind, this didn’t happen to everyone and now comes, believed that actually this happens a lot more frequently than people imagine, and I suppose I think that the mismatch in that, the disparity in the figures is that you know 5% are falsely accused and 95% are real. I think a lot of that is there’s a lot of the no further actions, that don’t get classed as a false accusation but do get classed actually somebody was raped but it didn’t they didn’t go for it wasn’t convicted and that baffles me to this day still.
At minute 5″
Because if it’s no further action then take a neutral point of view, that it could have happened, it couldn’t have happened, but there’s no definitive answer right now to say that it did happen, which means there’s no definitive answer you know possibly that they didn’t happen but then you remain neutral, in it not jump straight to the fact that I it happened they just couldn’t find the right evidence to prove it, well that’s not true, because then you could say the other way around, you well it didn’t happen, they just couldn’t find the right evidence to say that it didn’t happen, and so is is it’s how you look at is as perspectives.
I suppose this interpretation of the situation and I think that’s where part of it is going wrong, there’s a lot of things that are going wrong, you know for falsely accused and all sorts of being it the accused of a crime in general and so I waited, I had an agent at the police station, it was very didn’t know anything about it, didn’t even who my legal representation was gonna be, was just told to wait and we go from there really is six months of waiting seven months of waiting.
July is supposed to be the date and we turn up to the police station and the solicitors that I’ve just been, that I had no contact turns up, but the police officer in charge doesn’t know we waited two and a half hours outside and my solicitor was wonderful men, god bless him, he decided to say that because of the waiting time, there’s a strong possibility that I could be charged and they’re just making preparations, let’s charge me, little obviously did he know that the police officer in charge just wasn’t turning up and couldn’t get hold of him.
But at that point that’s when you start saying goodbye to your family, your friends and everything and I remember going in, that watching, my friends and family cry for the first time properly. In this I suppose because it was what, if we don’t see you again and that’s when they were Ali sets in and it’s a little bit awkward to then go back out and be like oh we’re all good now, we’re goanna be rebound and no date was set, so this was the first problem was set so there was no guarantee of when the decision was going to be made, so I’ve called a quart of corn on corn McCormick phone calls police officer in charge made phone calls, to I think I managed to get for it to my sister once and that was after about a mount have been of being rebelled and enough that just didn’t anything back from him and that was, that I didn’t really speak to my solicitor, so what fast forward to February I think now about February and then it’s towards the end of it make Frank once a police officer a decision be made oh it’s with the CPS, they make an decision, I’ll see if I can get it fast-tracked a little bit see if they can jump it up a little bit and two hours later, I got a phone back, and I’m really sorry you’ve been charged and the hard part is that it’s embarrassing our collapse in the middle of the university because that was not a telephone call, and I just fell to my knees, that was it yeah we was in a complete state of shock.
I was the once that said of my family we can’t be certain that it’s going to end in no further action, because we just don’t know it’s 50/50 at the moment, because it’s my word against hers, there’s no evidence and this is our point as it’s.
At minute 8′
It is my word against hers there’s no evidence and this is our point, was it’s harder to it’s just as hard to disprove this situation, as it is to prove it, and I think that’s a difficult concept to grasp is, so the mind naturally just goes to the point of well, why would you lie and and that’s where that whole you kind of want to believe the victim, because it’s, it’s more a monstrosity to think that they would lie about something so serious, than they actually just make the false accusation.
You know it’s something we can’t comprehend. It’s something that even I couldn’t comprehend. Me and my mom were a whole ‘no smoke without fire’ kind of family in general, that maybe they didn’t necessarily do that but there must have been something that was a bit off, and now it’s just it changed the whole perspective, and I think people only ever really get that there’s a rare few people that do without having to go through, but I think only people that go through it really understand, yeah we got charged it was a little bit of a mess my mum googled whether or not I’d be held on remand.
Google’s not your friend in any way shape or form to impact a toothbrush contact lenses and all sorts as if I was going camping, in I love her to pieces for it because she was prepared, she what she knew what was going on, and I had no idea I was just gonna have to police station and wing it really and improvise the whole thing, from there as to what happens next so if I get held to remind and we’ll dela, with it but I know I’m innocent so I’m gonna come back out I’m adamant I’m coming back out if I go every mind and then my mom just came in crying in the morning. She said you know I’ve been looking it up online you you’re gonna be held in remand and at this point I probably a couple of weeks prior we’d found out that my solicitor that I was given went bust. For this one to stay in court which is all the things that you want to hear all the kinds of reputations a representation you want and I’ve done work experience for a law firm before.
So the only people that I could call and they were very much more informative and I think there’s people that are lucky enough to get solicitors like that and I couldn’t give them, full credit if you know it’s all I’m doing the face because it’s they.
At minute 10:00
They were amazing, from start to finish, as was Julia but Simone as well, who just receive any credit, really in the media because she wasn’t physically in the media of that make sense, they weren’t the first person he went to buy.
She was fantastic, she gave all the information, don’t panic, don’t do this, don’t dress like this, put your hair like this, because this is what people need to look like in court and that’s just a representation thing for yourself, your image reflects how you are as a person. Your behaviour and we went off and did our research, you know with six months down the line, then that’s trial date.
There’s nothing more depressing than three weeks after your birthday, is being the trial date your first trial date, because the you know, three weeks prior you’re celebrating what could be your last birthday with everyone.
And so that was tough, I think that was one of the tougher parts and in the build-up to that, I’d say goodbye to work, I’d said goodbye to people at university. I’d take a brunch of distant friends. I brought over relatives and I think the night for the trial actually started, I haven’t met over 30 40 50 people but just put them all in one room, just name at different times, throughout the whole day and it’s really depressing to say that what was supposed to be, a good luck thing of, became a good buy, maybe, never see you again kind of meeting and some people were adamant that this wasn’t gonna be the last time and you know because we’d held that view, before I was charged and then we got burned, because of it. I didn’t want to hold that view going into the trial, because we’d planned everything, I try.
I was transferring all the money up to my mom’s account, I was transferring any sort of possession that I had my, you know, those things about my behalf. I was the things were gonna go there and and my best friends we’re who’s gonna silly things, like who’s gonna have a Playstation 4, you knows who’s that gonna go to, you back it, sounds silly but you want to make sure that everything is accommodated for, and the little details are the ones that matter the most.
And I suppose the most valuable things in terms of property that you own, you want to make sure that that is going somewhere and isn’t going to be confiscated for whatever reason. And like my phone was and so trial date kicks in and the first day of court the first thing that happens is by the way we kind of missed that, actually it’s 13 counts of sexual assault and rape sorry we’ve just reread their statement and there’s one separate sexual assault count so we’re gonna we’re asking the judge to put up to 13 sexual assaults and rape camps and that was sort of see the prosecution that did that and that’s your first moment that’s the first thing that’s decided in court we’d waited for four of five hours because there was a trial that carried over fair enough.
It happens the they couldn’t find a jury on the day, so they asked for any of the admin stuff to be dealt with, now and everyone will go home so I spent an hour in the courtroom and actually spent actually in court it’s in the actual court itself probably what five six hours we come in the next day and there’s messages all of a sudden they’ve appeared in this glacier pack and Julia starts asking questions of where these come from you just said that on Liam’s phone you couldn’t find anything you could only find snapchat messages when
At minute 13
starts asking questions of where these come from, you just said that on Liams’s phone, you couldn’t find anything you could only find snapchat messages when his was confiscated, so we’re if these messages come from it was a conversation between her and of the witnesses the quotation marks, like that um but it was a conversation there of the the first time she reported it to someone essentially and that’s what the conversation covered but in that conversation was a text that outright said: It wasn’t against my will or anything” And we hit the roof, Well I mean I hit the roof. My barrister was a bit taken aback that that was even sitting there and what the prosecution will relying on was in that string of conversation that message that outright said: I was innocent was what they were relying on to prosecute me.
Interviewer: How can that be?
This is the point and this is why I don’t necessarily, part of me thinks that they didn’t read it in full. The other part of me thinks that maybe they thought it would go unnoticed, and the other part of me just thinks, that it was just a completely malicious and people say there was a culture of convictions at all costs and in all honestly I’m never nobody’s ever really going to know from the police officer’s perspective, what his mindset was because even in the review it said that he doesn’t know, the doesn’t remember how he recorded the information, doesn’t remember how he recorded the evidence, blood and the text messages and he doesn’t remember how he documented it all, but he’s claimed that he did, so again if you got one of two ways, it was a malicious and he did read it he didn’t care or it was just a genuine mistake and oversight too busy the lack of competency, that kind of thing.
I said there’s a number of reasons it could have been and so we go into the courtroom and we asked what the messages have come from and we asked for essentially for us to get the discs that they’ve downloaded it on, and we’re told in court and I was only a couple of thousand messages and you know I don’t even think Jerry knew how much was on there, because he was the one that said to the judge you know it’s only a couple thousand messages but he was getting that information from the police officer in charge.
Jerry had only picked up the case a day before there’s no way he would have known or seen the evidence in the first place but a prosecution barrister did.
That’s my problem because there was one on the case before and the prosecution barrister signed off for it which mean that I wouldn’t look at it as well or they looked at it and didn’t care either way we weren’t told that this evidence even existed let alone put in unused material and we start going through it and you know we start sifting for it and we you know we start sifting for it me and Julia Julia’s gone home to do it I’ve gone how to do it and this is my issues a lot of people have said well they’ve got lack of resources lack of timing and an eight-hour time deadline realistically I mean if you have to go back to sleep wake up the next day for core Julia had the same sort of deadline from when we finished court to go and read through that and both of us just had a laptop and and that download which was on a disk nobody can tell me that they don’t have enough resources that they don’t even have a laptop to look through something and if it maybe it’ a different generation Control F and you type in keywords everything keywords like that you’ve just listed on that document will come up in it will highlight which means then you can look for this key information that you’re looking for so we initially tapped in rape.
Rape didn’t turn up, no results so not in any single conversation that she had had in this whole time span of of two to three years, had the word rape ever been mentioned. Brilliant that’s actually a good thing that you know what we were looking for was how it it was depicted how it was described you know exactly what the words were to see well this doesn’t match up with what she said here or this doesn’t match up here who knew and so we do that throughout the whole thing and then eventually we start finding all of these bits of information and obviously, I can’t go into depth about it but it was so abundantly clear to a neutral person, that I was innocent from the examples that we’ve given in court that it would have been abundantly clear before I was even arrested so this was a whole big waste of time, this was two years gone for no reason.
Interviewer: But that’s also conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
Exactly it was there before I was arrested so you know, I think it was there nine days or a week before I was arrested while I downloaded it and then arrest somebody if you haven’t investigated it.
I think anybody should be arrested if it hasn’t already been investigated because if you’re investigating, you find actually there’s nothing there, or you think there could be something that you just can’t find the other evidence so you need to question the other person I can understand that I can understand somebody needed to be questioned that is a process that just needs to happen but to be charged to go through the court process all of that and the evidence now people tell me that the evidence wasn’t even looked at, still why am I even in the quorum if you ask me what I’ve waited an extra six months to find out whether or not I was gonna be charged or no further action if it meant somebody was going to properly read that document, hell yeah oh yeah that would have been an easy decision that would have listened okay not in.
The world would agree with you you find the evidence and you wait you’re happily wait
yeah and you
I was offered a plea deal I think it’s three and half years or something like that, was seven years or some stupid to plead guilty and I’m a very stubborn person it’s just my personality, I’ve probably off my mon’s pretty similar in that respect but I was stubborn enough in the sense of.
We didn’t even know that the evidence to prove I was innocent was there but we was adamant that I was gonna be able get up into a courtroom and look the people in the eyes and say to them outright this did not happen, this was a lie and we have character references you know originally I think I made a list of love 40 something stupid character references of people that knew what was going on, but I was very open about it and said look this is exactly what’s going on but I need your help and then I got to hold off because I’m not allowed to have 40 character standing because it’s too long it would be too long a process know all of them are going to want to speak for 20 minutes to the half an hour, you know there’d be two sets of questioning and all sorts so go wrong so narrowed it down to I think 12 in the end, this is ex-girlfriend’s, this is what all sorts family members friends the works and despite having 12 people there.
People still took a week off for my trial and came in, sat on that trial we had about 15 people at one point. There was nobody on her side of it and the harder part of it is obviously we want to make it obvious that they had there for me and not to see the result for her and so we’re constantly looking at each other looking at the jury and every making sur that they’re aware that they’re with me and things like that so any kind of eye contact with those members in the gallery was Imperative because if they saw that they can also see that I’m with them and that’s my support and compared to what she had.
I suppose is the bigger thing of it and I think it’s rare that you get that many people turn I’ve turned up to sentence and hearings as part my course and all sorts and to see what the experience was like write reports on it essays and things like that and there’s never ever been that many people I’ve seen in a public gallery but that was normal.
For me this is my family my friends are my family. I have a great aunt and uncle and a few cousins here and there I’m up and that’s it and I predominately just seen my mom my mom is the only person that I was living with at the time of it all and so it keeps your ever minded that my friends would be about my family and that’s a really hard thing to try and explain to people who come from a big family and so we’re trying to reply on the fact that the jury have had experience and this is going past the fact that we
weren’t aware that the message in de CPS were going to drop the case, it wasn’t dropped there and then in court when we have found those messages that the CPS were going to suddenly just only went no that’s it well back off no that was two weeks so it’s two weeks afterwards they had to send off a recommendation for the drop the case or whatever, not they were gonna go through that the catch bit for me was I was in the third year of uni there’s comments the end of it this is where every minute counted towards my degree and
the day my trial started is was doing and so I took like four extenuating circumstances and all all that the the retrial date that they set because that was just a precaution in case the CPS did decide carry on with July the next year, it had been another nine months of just sitting around and waiting but knowing now that there’s evidence that proved I was innocent, but they still want to go through with the case and there had been stupid to but it wouldn’t have been uncommon for them to do it to take it to trial anyway and test the luck because I don’t think. I think if there’s such criteria isn’t there 50 percent if there’s a more than likelihood of 50 percent conviction and their supposed yeah mom probably had 30 percent without the evidence because statements weren’t matching up the timings weren’t matched up.
I had exact proof of where I was she was people were at places that we were through Bank cons and his statements and things like that you know is it’s silly things. But all if that was in our favour and it was still taken to trial and in my opinion was 30 percent it depended on whether or not the jury we’re gonna properly believe her.
There were three people in the jury that already talked that I was guilty and they I’m assuming they’ve read the news I wish even they haven’t seen that actually they were wrong but that’s scary because I hadn’t even spoken we need people on the other side to start the fact that false false accusation do happen, and then not as rare as what people think that doesn’t mean they’re not necessarily completely rare. I don’t know how rare they are I don’t think anybody’s really gonna be able to find the exact statistic of how it exactly how many rapes actually happened and how many rapes are forced below you know how many reports a regular force but they’re more common than people think
There are a lot more common the only difference is I suppose is that there’s not that much encouragement to speak up about being falsely accused, you know I’m on the sofa at the moment you know it’s speaking about it because my case is in the media but nobody would have ever heard of me I would never spoke about it, because it wouldn’t be published whereas you read the news.
We did a course in my criminology bit we did a module and had to be about the reporting of crimes in the in the newspapers and it was just purely educational type of thing and we started to look at a lot of the things that are put in there. A lot of it was strange danger in terms of rape a lot of it was very with it but it’s all very much focused on what could happen and it’s very unrealistic of how frequently it happens, because it was reported.
A stupid amount of times but when you actually look at it, most of the any kind of domestic violence or abuse or anything like that happens in the home, but all of the news reports were on stuff that happened out on the street and so I think, there’s a fear now instilled in men and I think there’s a fear that’s been instilled in women and media partly to blame, they’ve been the catalyst for it, but I think that there’s been a bit of confusion between the difference of exactly what constitutes as rape exactly, what constitutes is consent and a lot of people say well no surely it’s really obvious that somebody either says, yes they do want to have sex of no they don’t want to have sex.
If you ask those people how many times they’ve actually been asked shall we have sex or does it just happen in the heat at the moment, none of all of them pause and they get a little bit conscious because then it becomes a bit a grey area of on and but then if somebody says afterwards well they did they felt really uncomfortable, they didn’t really want it but they didn’t say anything and they and they didn’t really make it too obvious that’s there’s grey areas. There’s there’s a there’s a boundary because then there’s certain context of it that you will never understand there’s certain facial expressions that the guy may never have seen or the girl might never have seen because it works both ways, but I think there’ a fear now there’s a fear for a guy to approach a girl and there’s a fear for a girl to be approached by a guy and that’s just not what’s point in living.
If you can’t live in harmony well it doesn’t make sense and the point the biggest point that I really want to make is this whole, this doesn’t get votes. They sell a topic of interest doesn’t get votes and that’s why part of an uninterested is nonsense. It’s controversial that’s why Parliament aren’t necessarily don’t want to get too invested in it, because there’s a lot of people out there that want to be spiteful.
There’s a lot of people that I’ve met that have outright accused me of what I was accused of again despite the fact that there’s evidence showing that I was innocent, through Twitter and there’s at people that I have spoken to through Twitter or seeing through Twitter. There have been malicious to people on the flip side of it there’s a danger of the emotion getting too much of people and I do my best to control the people that I am close with and in regular contact.
We’ve been we’ve been saying look this can’t be this way, but there’s a ton of votes in this there really is you change the criminal justice system every criminal barrister in the country will vote along with all the people that have been damaged by the criminal justice system, and all the families and you’ve speaking what million votes easily that’s what I don’t even know what the population is in the UK to be fair now you know that’s what million votes realistically for people that have just been partly affected or are working in that profession and then it will have a ripple effect form there and that’s the scary part of it is that nobody’s realising that yeah.
Ref: It is horrible knowing that there’s people in the cell screaming shouting – transcript.docx