There’s a commonly quoted statistic regarding rape allegations. Of all those reported to the police, only 7.5% result in a conviction.
That’s not to say that more don’t lead to guilty verdict, at least in the minds of many. It’s just that this verdict tends to fall on the head of the woman making the accusation.
Today saw Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding found not guilty of raping a woman in June 2016. To some, such a verdict is instantly flipped: not guilty for them must mean guilty for their accuser. In legal terms – and in terms of pure logic – this isn’t true (and there are no signs that the complainant is about to be charged with perverting the course of justice).
This hasn’t stopped the men’s lawyers from complaining about lives being blighted by “false claims”, nor held back the twitter mob. “I hope this bitch gets locked up for trying to ruin the lives of these lads” declares one commentator, while another bemoans “another career ruined by some fame-chasing bitch” (clearly oblivious to the MRA rules which state one must be in favour of a complainant’s name being made public).