Christine Henson, leading Denise Saunders, was instructed by Brian Mackrell of Mackrell Marsh & Co solicitors, acted on behalf of the Defendant, NG, in a four-week-long rape trial. The original charges consisted of nine separate counts of rape against four different complainants and was subsequently reduced to eight counts against three who, despite having never met, gave significantly similar accounts of the alleged rapes under cross-examination. The complainants included an ex-partner of NG, a prostitute and an allegation of “date rape” made by the third woman, spanning a period of five years.
Throughout the course of the trial, a number of bad character applications were put forward by the Prosecution relating to previous convictions and allegations of domestic violence. Additionally, the Prosecution argued that a considerable amount of rape pornography taken from mainstream movies and found in NG’s possession should be admissible as it was relevant to the issues of propensity and belief in consent. This is currently a controversial area of law that is developing due to the prejudicial nature of the material.
The defence run was one of consent with regards to all three women. As a result of the effective cross-examination techniques used by Ms Henson, which involved tailoring the style and delivery of questioning to the individual complainants, a large number of discrepancies and inconsistencies were uncovered.
Despite the Prosecution’s bad character applications being successful and additional evidence of a confession NG made to his best friend whilst being remanded in custody, NG was acquitted of all counts by the jury after a strong closing address by Ms Henson.