However, it would never be sufficient if it was the only evidence of falsity and a prosecution should never be based solely on evidence of a retraction. Prosecutors should record and explain as fully as possible the evidential considerations and public interest factors they have taken into account when making their decisions. Rarely if ever should such evidence be used to justify a prosecution in the absence of any other cogent evidence of falsity. A person who deliberately makes a false allegation of a crime in the knowledge that there is a risk that the police will conduct an investigation would have committed one of the relevant offences and is liable to be prosecuted subject to public interest considerations. Assessing the public interest is not simply a matter of adding up the number of factors on each side and seeing which side has the greater number. a false complaint was motivated by malice; a false complaint was sustained over a period of time (particularly where there were opportunities to retract); the person originally accused was charged and remanded in custody; the person originally accused was tried, convicted and / or sentenced; the suspect has previous convictions or out-of-court disposals relevant to this offence, or a history of making demonstrably false complaints. Trial advocacy must be undertaken by a Rape Specialist Advocate. confirmation that the reviewing lawyer has considered and applied this legal guidance and related policies highlighted within; approval of the reviewing lawyer's reasons for the choice of the specific offence considered, or challenge where necessary. Where the prosecution case is that a false allegation has been made, all that is required is that the person making the false allegation intended that it should be taken seriously by the police. The vulnerability of the complainant needs to be properly understood and taken into consideration. So please don't treat it as legal advice or rely on the information. In reaching decisions in these cases the following core considerations should be taken into account at all stages of the decision making process when relevant to do so. Sometimes the retraction itself is then withdrawn and the suspect reverts to maintaining the truth of the original complaint - a "double retraction".
If the evidence is such that the original allegation might reasonably be true then there is not a realistic prospect of conviction and no charge should be brought. Police and prosecutors should work closely to examine the circumstances of the suspect, any relationship with the person about whom they originally complained and any other factors which put the retraction in context so as to better understand the reason for it.
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