Our client, a father of 5 and no previous convictions, stood for trial last week at Croydon Crown Court having been charged with a number of serious historic sexual offences against his step-daughter.

Our client’s asserted a factual denial. It was not disputed that the relationship between our client and his step daughter was, at times, fraught. Tension in their relationship grew as the complainant’s behaviour at home deteriorated and her school performance continued to be poor. As a form of discipline, our client and his wife would threaten to send the complainant back to live with family in Ghana if her behaviour did not improve.

A few days before reporting the allegations, the complainant had failed to attend a week long school work placement. Disputing her non-attendance, the complainant insisted that an error must have been made and her school were misleading her parents. The client gave the complainant a week to obtain proof of her attendance or she would be sent back to Ghana. At the end of the week, the complainant reported the allegations at school and then police. The following day, the complainant requested her passport be taken from the family home.

The trial lasted 4 days and the jury returned a verdict of ‘not guilty’ on all counts. At the conclusion of a 2 year process, our client is now able to return to family life.

Our client was represented by Counsel Sarah O’Kane of 187 Fleet Street, instructed by Len Hodkin and assisted by Verity Fowler.