Select Committee on Home Affairs Fourth Report


62.  Many abuse investigations have culminated in criminal charges against a significant number of suspects. At this juncture, the Crown Prosecution Service will review the charges and, if appropriate, carry forward the prosecution and it is to this that we now turn.

The role of the Crown Prosecution Service

63.  Between 1997 and 2000 the Crown Prosecution Service rejected a staggering 79 per cent of the institutional child abuse cases referred by the police.[105] The figure is even more astounding when compared to the general discontinuance rate, which is 13 per cent of all cases referred to the CPS.[106] This graphically illustrates the view that police trawls are not generating evidence of sufficient quality in these cases to satisfy the burden of proof, which in criminal cases is 'beyond reasonable doubt'.[107] We were also told that, of the 21 per cent of institutional child abuse cases which proceeded to trial, "convictions were achieved in 83 per cent" of cases, "the vast pleas of guilty".[108]

64.  Despite the high rate of rejection, it has also been suggested that the Crown Prosecution Service does not conduct a sufficiently independent or robust review of the evidence before deciding to proceed with the prosecution in these cases. We were told that investigations into historical abuse were "very much police run operations", which were simply "rubber stamp[ed]" by the CPS.[109] Consequently, it is said that the CPS fails to pick up on discrepancies, inconsistencies or other weaknesses in the case before trial.[110]

65.  These deficiencies have been attributed partly to the over-stretched resources of the CPS and partly to the "cultural problem" that is said to exist within both the police and the CPS.[111] Neil O'May, a partner solicitor of Bindman & Partners, said that the prevailing culture was to believe the complainant, "get it into court and see what happens".[112] However, the figures on the rate of discontinuance in these cases does not appear to bear this out.

66.  We recognise that the CPS is in an extremely difficult position. As Chris Saltrese, a criminal defence solicitor, said, it is not the job of the CPS to investigate what the police are doing. Its role is to decide whether the prosecution should proceed.[113] The standard of the prosecution case is therefore largely dependent upon the quality of the criminal investigation behind it. In some cases, the CPS is still not involved in the early stages of a care home investigation.[114] However, in the absence of audio or visual recording of police interviews, the CPS is unable—even with sufficient resources—to conduct a proper evaluation of the credibility of the testimonial evidence.[115] Until proper recording is introduced, there may—in some cases—be very little, realistically, that the CPS can do to either detect or remedy a flawed investigation.[116]

67.  It was suggested to us that the current two-stage test, which is applied by the CPS to determine whether a prosecution should proceed, was not sufficiently robust in cases of historical abuse in children's homes. In particular, it was suggested that in multi-complainant cases, the volume of complaints alone would usually ensure that there was enough evidence to secure a reasonable prospect of conviction, regardless of the strength of each individual complaint.[117] It was proposed that an additional 'third' test be introduced, requiring that there is firm evidence, or a firm belief, that a crime had been committed for the prosecution to proceed.[118]

68.  The existing tests, set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors, require first, that there is enough evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for each defendant on every charge (the 'evidential test') and, secondly, that the prosecution is in the public interest (the 'public interest test').[119] In response to the suggestion that an additional (third) test be introduced, to Sir David Calvert-Smith QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said:

    "This [additional test] seems to me to be superfluous; our concern must be to consider whether or not there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction. The question of whether or not a crime has been committed must be an integral part of the intellectual process applied by the prosecutor reviewing the evidence in accordance with the Code test. If there is a reasonable doubt that the offence occurred, ipso facto there must be reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty...[To require] that there should be a 'firm belief that a crime had actually occurred'...seems to me to set the test too high and too subjectively...For the CPS to adopt such a test would tend to usurp the role of the magistrates or the jury".[120]

69.  In January 2002, the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate reviewed a random sample of child abuse cases. It found that the CPS had made proper decisions in accordance with the evidential test in 169 of the 173 relevant cases examined (97.7 per cent) and in all but one of the 172 applications of the public interest test (99.4 per cent). Although there were some regional variations in the quality of decision-making, the overall figures did not differ significantly from the figures for all cases, which were 98.5 per cent and 99.8 per cent respectively.[121]

70.  In our view, the Crown Prosecution Service is presently faced with a difficult task when reviewing past cases of institutional child abuse. However, the sheer volume of such cases which are rejected by the CPS, seems to indicate that it is applying a sufficiently robust review to sift out weak cases. We are not persuaded that there should be a new test for Crown Prosecutors (in addition to the evidential and public interest tests) to require firm evidence, or a firm belief, that a crime has been committed for the prosecution to proceed. We, therefore, decline to recommend any changes to the Code for Crown Prosecutors.


71.  A number of people have drawn our attention to the issue of disclosure in criminal proceedings, whereby the evidence—supporting both the prosecution and the defence—is disclosed to the other party for trial. We were told, for instance, that the Attorney General's Guidelines[122] were not being adhered to and that it was often very difficult to obtain disclosure of third party material, such as social service records.[123] Chris Saltrese, a criminal defence solicitor, also criticised the scheme of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, which puts the police in charge of disclosure. In his view, this was akin to "putting a fox in charge of chicken coop".[124]

72.  The matters raised with us are a reflection of a wider problem with disclosure, which affects criminal cases generally. Significant weaknesses in the operation of the current disclosure rules have already been highlighted elsewhere, including a study commissioned by the Home Office,[125] a thematic review by the CPS Inspectorate[126] and Lord Justice Auld's review of the Criminal Courts.[127] In passing, we note that failure to disclose evidence inconvenient to the prosecution case was a factor in many—if not most—proven miscarriages of justice and we express the hope that the recommendations made by these various studies are acted upon without delay. We look forward to hearing from the Home Office on this point.

73.  Disclosure of third party material appears to be particularly problematic in child abuse cases, as much of the relevant material will be held by local authority social services, rather than the police.[128] We have heard that there are moves to draw up a national protocol to both clarify and agree standard procedures for disclosing such material.[129] When the protocol is in place, it should help to reduce some of the confusion and inconsistency caused by the ad hoc growth of regional protocols.[130] We are concerned, however, that the proposal appears to have made slow progress, as many of these investigations have either concluded or are already well under way.

74.  We welcome the proposal for a national protocol for the disclosure of third party material and hope to see its speedy delivery. In the longer term, we support Lord Justice Auld's recommendation for a new statutory scheme for third party disclosure, "to operate alongside and more consistently with the general provisions for disclosure of unused material".[131] We again look forward to hearing what plans there are to implement Lord Justice Auld's recommendations on disclosure.

The difficulties faced by the defendant

75.  In contested cases, the defence team will usually face an onerous task.[132] The passage of time since the offence was said to have taken place creates enormous evidential problems. Neil O'May said that serious allegations of sexual assault are often set out in a very short statement, giving few details.[133] In most trials, the principal evidence is testimonial, with little—if any—medical or other objective evidence to go on.[134] Memories have generally faded,[135] potential witnesses may be dead or untraceable,[136] crucial social services' or care home records may have been lost or destroyed[137] and the care home itself may have closed or been demolished.[138]


Former staff member (male) was convicted, following a trial, of abuse, including sexual abuse, committed in the late 1970s. He was sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment.

"The historical nature of the original allegations posed immense difficulties for my defence team:
a.  All records from the Children's Centre (closed some ten years earlier) had been destroyed
b.  Vital files concerning the individual complainants had been misplaced or destroyed by the Social Services Department, despite regulations that they should be retained until the subject's death.
c.  My defence team were unable to contact other ex-residents who may have [been] helpful to my defence, as the authorities would not supply their details. In fact, one ex-resident who was a contemporary of the complainants, turned up at the trial having read of the case in the press. This [person] offered to speak on my behalf to contradict the suggestion that this was in any way a repressive regime. She also stated that she could not believe that such behaviour could possibly have occurred without others being aware and complaining."

76.  In addition to these evidential problems, the defendant is said to face enormous prejudice at trial. First, the very nature of the offence is likely to evoke prejudices against the accused, even before the allegation is put to the court.[139] Bob Woffinden told us that child abuse—particularly sexual abuse—was "so totally outside the comprehension of almost all of us" that juries were more likely to believe in the accusations than would be the case for other crimes.[140]

77.  Secondly, it was explained to us that developments in the law of 'similar fact' evidence (see paragraph 94) have made it easier for the prosecution to admit similar allegations as corroborative evidence at trial, even though that evidence has no immediate connection with the charged offence.[141] The Director of Public Prosecutions explained that "until 1991 it tended to be argued that there had to be a striking similarity for the evidence to be admitted".[142] However, following the House of Lords' ruling in DPP. v. P., the test was relaxed in this type of case.[143]

78.  Given the dangers of trawling,[144] this increases the likelihood that the defendant will be tried on multiple abuse charges, brought by several complainants. In these circumstances, there is also the danger that the jury will instinctively assume that the defendant is guilty on the basis that there is "no smoke without fire"—regardless of whether the defence show serious weaknesses in the prosecution evidence.[145] Neil O'May argued that the burden of proof, in these cases, was effectively shifted onto the defendant to prove his innocence, rather than the prosecution, to prove his guilt.[146]

79.  Although there are safeguards to protect the defendant from any injustice in these circumstances, we were told that they were not sufficient. Where there has been a significant delay before the allegation was made, the defendant may apply for a stay on the ground that the prosecution is an abuse of process (i.e., unfair). However, abuse of process arguments are said to be hard to win and the burden is on the defendant to make the case.[147] If the trial judge refuses to grant a stay, he may grant the alternative remedy of giving a direction to the jury as to the effect of the delay on the defence. This is, in all respects, a "lesser remedy",[148] given that the evidence is likely to evoke prejudices amongst members of the jury that outweigh their concerns over delay.[149]

80.  In multi-complainant cases, the defendant may also apply for the indictment to be severed, so that each allegation can be tried separately. We are informed, however, that the law of severance has developed along similar lines to the law of similar fact evidence. Just as it has become easier for the prosecution to admit similar allegations as evidence in one trial, we understand that it has become more difficult for the defendant successfully to apply to sever the allegations into separate trials.[150] Neil O'May said to us that:

    "What has happened over the last ten years is the pressure is to put everybody together on a huge indictment...and put that in front of the jury".[151]

Options for reform

81.  We have explored a number of suggested options for reform, with a view to ensuring that the conduct of abuse trials is both fair and just. In considering these options, we are conscious that the Government has already proposed radically to overhaul the criminal justice system, with the aim of "rebalanc[ing] the system in favour of victims, witnesses and communities".[152] Whilst we accept the need for general reform, we are concerned about the potential impact of some these proposals on child abuse cases.

82.  For example, we have particular concerns about the proposed reforms to the rules of evidence, which are likely to replace the 'similar fact' rule—and other rules of evidence—with a more general test for admissibility of evidence. This may lead to almost routine admission, in child abuse cases, of similar allegations or similar circumstances as evidence of corroboration. In historical cases, where the ability to disprove such allegations is greatly reduced, this may lead to further miscarriages of justice.

83.  Whilst we accept that the criminal justice system needs to be more sensitive to the needs of victims and witnesses, we are concerned that the proposed removal of safeguards for the defendant, set out in Justice for All, may further prejudice the defendant in historical child abuse trials. We are particularly concerned about the proposed relaxation of the rules of evidence, which may allow for greater admission of 'similar fact' evidence. In our view, given the sensitive and difficult nature of investigating allegations of historical child abuse, there is a strong case for establishing special or additional safeguards for the exclusion of prejudicial evidence and/or severance of multiple abuse charges.

A time limit on prosecutions of offences relating to child abuse

84.  At the very start of this inquiry, we posed the difficult question of whether there should be a statutory time limitation on the prosecution of offences relating to child abuse.

85.  In large-scale police operations into past abuse, there is arguably ample opportunity for individuals to bring forward false or exaggerated allegations.[153] Furthermore, in most cases, the longer the delay since the alleged abuse, the more difficult it will be to defend the allegations. The principal advantage of imposing such a limit is that it would ensure that defendants did not face prosecution on the basis of fabricated or exaggerated allegations, in circumstances where their ability to disprove them was undermined. A limitation period would, therefore, allow the complainant a period of time, within which to report the allegation, whilst also protecting the defendant from stale allegations.

86.  We received various suggestions on the length of the limitation period, ranging from three years from the date of the offence[154] to ten years[155] or longer. Most people suggested that, if the victim was a minor, time should not run until the victim had reached the age of majority or 21 years.

87.  The principal disadvantage of imposing a time limit is that it would bar prosecutions after a certain number of years, regardless of the strength of the evidence corroborating the complaint. The Metropolitan Police gave the example of cases where there was photographic or video evidence supporting the complainant's statement.[156] In these circumstances the time bar would be unjust and may put further children at risk.

88.  During this inquiry, we found that more people were opposed to the proposal than were supportive.[157] Those against the idea have argued that psychological and other factors often explained and justified delayed disclosure of childhood abuse.[158] The Metropolitan Police have indicated that significant numbers of complainants are aged between 30 to 40 years when they report experiences of childhood abuse.[159] We also note that the report on the independent review of sex offences—Setting the Boundaries—concluded that "In principle...time limits were not justified for any sexual offences" and recommended that no time limit be applied to the proposed new offence of adult sexual abuse of a child.[160]

89.  We are inclined to agree that the prosecution of offences relating to child abuse should not be time-barred. In our view, prosecution decisions should continue to be based on the merits of the case, having regard to public interest factors, such as delay. Whilst a limitation provision may protect innocent defendants from fabricated allegations that are difficult to refute, it may also prevent guilty defendants from being brought to justice. For these reasons, we decline to recommend the introduction of a statutory limitation period.

Safeguards against abuse of process

90.  An alternative option is to strengthen the existing safeguard whereby the defendant can apply to stay the prosecution on the grounds that it is an abuse of process. It has been suggested that the prosecution should be required to apply for the court's permission to prosecute, if a set number of years had passed since the offence was alleged to have occurred.[161] The onus would then be on the prosecution to prove that the proceedings were not an abuse of process, rather on the defendant to show that they were. The advantage of this option is that it would introduce a time limit, which was not an absolute bar to proceedings, but beyond which the prosecution could only proceed with the court's permission.


91.  In our view, this would achieve a fairer balance than currently exists between the need to safeguard the defendant against stale allegations and the interests of the complainant and the community to see that offenders are brought to justice. We believe that ten years is an appropriate time period, although the time should not run until the complainant has reached age 21.

92.  We recommend that the prosecution of offences relating to child abuse, which is alleged to have occurred over ten years since the date of the offence, should only proceed with the court's permission. We suggest that the time period does not begin to run until the complainant has reached age 21.

Reform of similar fact evidence, joinder and severance

93.  We have also considered whether the law of similar fact evidence and joinder/severance of indictments should be reformed, with a view to minimising the use of multi-count and multi-complainant indictments in trials relating to past sexual abuse of children.

94.  The similar fact rule allows the prosecution to admit, as evidence to prove the charged offence, similar charges or allegations against the defendant, even though that evidence has no immediate connection with the charged offence. At present, the test of admissibility is whether the probative force of the similar fact evidence exceeds its prejudicial effect.[162] The rules relating to joinder and severance allow for multiple charged offences to be tried either together, on a joined indictment, or separately, by severing the counts on the indictment.[163]

95.  During this inquiry, several people have indicated that multiple allegations should be tried separately.[164] Others have advocated a narrower test for the admission of similar fact evidence, based on a "striking similarity" between the similar fact evidence and the evidence relating to the offence.[165] The law of severance could also be reformed by the introduction of a presumption that the charges should be tried separately if the other allegations were inadmissible on a similar fact basis.[166]

96.  In our view, sexual offences tend to engender greater prejudice than non-sexual offences, particularly when the victim is a child. For this reason, we believe that there is a strong case for seeking to minimise the use of multi-count and multi-complainant trials, unless justified by special circumstances. We believe that a "striking similarity" between the allegations would constitute special circumstances.

97.  We, therefore, recommend that the law of similar fact evidence is reformed to require a "striking similarity" in historical child abuse cases. We suggest that the law of severance is also reformed, to introduce a presumption in favour of severance in cases where the similar allegations are inadmissible on a similar fact basis.

Extension of anonymity to the accused

98.  Given the prejudicial nature of allegations of sexual offences, publicity can do enormous damage to persons who are falsely accused. Defendants who are never charged, or are acquitted of the charges, may find that they continue to live with the suspicion of having committed a sexual crime. At present, anonymity is only afforded to the victims of sexual crimes. The protection for victims begins on the day that the allegation is made and lasts throughout the complainant's lifetime, although the restrictions may be lifted or relaxed by court order.[167] It has been suggested, however, that the provisions should be extended to those accused of the same crimes.[168]

99.  We suggest that the statutory reporting restrictions, which preserve the anonymity of victims of sexual offences, are extended to persons accused of historical child abuse. We believe that the restrictions should operate to protect the accused until the date of conviction, with provision to lift the restrictions by court order. Although there is a case for extending this recommendation to all sexual offences, for which the victim is granted anonymity, this goes beyond our remit for this inquiry.


105   Sir David Calvert-Smith QC, Q. 1, Vol. II, Ev 34. Back

106   Ibid, Q. 10, Vol. II, Ev 34. Back

107   Sir David Calvert-Smith QC states that it is "usually because there is insufficient evidence to give a realistic prospect of conviction". Vol. II, Ev 34. Back

108   Sir David Calvert-Smith QC, Q. 1, Vol. II, Ev 34. Back

109   Chris Saltrese, QQ. 203 and 220. Back

110   Bob Woffinden, Q. 82, Dr Bill Thompson, Q. 995. Back

111   Neil O'May, QQ. 201-202, 216. Back

112   Q. 202. Back

113   Chris Saltrese, Q. 222. Back

114   Sir David Calvert-Smith QC said that regular bilateral meetings have now been established between the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service. He said that one of the topics on the agenda was "whether ACPO would, while retaining their operational police independence, seek advice more often on this sort of topic from the CPS". Q. 22. Back

115   The Director of Public Prosecutions indicated to us that the recording of interviews would "make our lives as prosecutors much easier", Q. 7. Back

116   In section 1 (The Investigation), we recommend that recording be introduced as a mandatory requirement; see para. 45. Back

117   David Rose, Q. 85. Back

118   Bob Woffinden, Q. 82 and Vol. II, Ev 131. This was supported by Claire Curtis-Thomas MP, Q. 833, and Neil O'May also suggested that the CPS required "an objective test and an objective ethos", Q. 240. Back

119   The tests are set out in more detail in The Code for Crown Prosecutors, (Crown Prosecution Service, 2000) and in the memorandum of Sir David Calvert-Smith QC, Vol. II, Ev 37. Back

120   Vol. II, Ev 33-7, p. 37. Back

121   Vol. II, Ev 62-4, p. 63. Back

122   Attorney General's Guidelines: Disclosure of Information In Criminal Proceedings, 29th November 2000. Back

123   Neil O'May, Q. 217. Back

124   Q. 264. Back

125   A Fair Balance? Evaluation of the Operation of Disclosure Law, Joyce Plotnikoff and Richard Woolfson, (Home Office, 2001). Back

126   Report on the Thematic Review of the Disclosure of Unused Material, Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Report no. 2/2000, (HMCPSI, March 2000). Back

127   Review of the Criminal Courts of England and Wales; Report, (TSO, October 2001), pp. 444-476. Back

128   See e.g., R. v. Brushett [2001] Crim L.R. 471, CA. Back

129   Nigel Duggan told us that the national multi-agency working group, which was set up to look at the disclosure issue, was "about to reach a conclusion", Q. 749. The Government guidance states that "it is expected that the model protocol will be completed later in 2002". Complex Child Abuse Investigations: Inter-agency issues, Guidance, (Home Office, Department of Health, May 2002), para. 5.6. Back

130   We were informed that two separate protocols are in place for Operation Goldfinch, an investigation conducted by South Wales Police. This is because only two of the seven local authorities would allow disclosure of a complete file to the police. The other five authorities would allow more limited access "based on the police team identifying" the relevant material. Nigel Duggan, Q. 749. See also Mr Mick Holland, Chief Superintendent Mike Langdon and Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Tinnuche, QQ. 745-748. Back

131   Review of the Criminal Courts of England and Wales; Report, (TSO, October 2001), pp. 475-476, para. 190. The Director of Public Prosecutions was broadly in favour of this proposal; see The Work of the Crown Prosecution Service, Home Affairs Committee Minutes of Evidence, 26 February 2002 (HC 650), Q. 2. Back

132   See for example, David Rose, QQ. 86-7. Back

133   Q. 219. Back

134   See for example, Metropolitan Police, Vol. II, Ev 74-5. Back

135   See for example, Professor Gisli Gudjonsson, Q. 983, "as a general rule memory does deteriorate and it makes the job of the police much more difficult when you are going back ten, 15, 20 years". Back

136   See for example, Timothy Hackett, Vol. II, Ev 58-9. Back

137   See for example, Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council, Vol. II, Ev. 97-8. Back

138   See for example, Neil O' May, Q. 219. Back

139   Sally Bostock cites a Canadian study, in which it was found that out of 849 prospective jurors, 36 per cent stated on oath that, knowing the nature of the charge (child sex abuse), they could not be impartial during the trial; Sally Bostock, The Effects on Juries of Hearing about the Defendant's Previous Criminal Record: A Simulation Study, [2000] Crim. L.R. 734-755, at 739. Back

140   Bob Woffinden, Q. 82. Back

141   Sir David Calvert-Smith QC Vol. II, Ev 33-7 at pp. 35-7. See also Professor Adrian Keane Vol. II, Ev 66-7, Professor Solomon Salako Vol. II, Ev 102-105, Professor Colin Tapper Vol. II, Ev 116-7, Richard Webster Vol. II, Ev 125-127. Back

142   Vol. II, Ev 33-7 at p. 35. Back

143   The revised test allows evidence to be admitted if "its probative force in support of the allegation that an accused person committed a crime is sufficiently great to make it just to admit the evidence, notwithstanding that it was prejudicial to the accused in tending to show that he was guilty of another crime"; DPP. v. P. [1991] 2 A.C. 447, HL, at 460/D-G per Lord Mackay. Back

144   We have heard that there is a real danger that trawling gives rise to cross-contamination of complainants' evidence and/or collusion. See sections 1(The Investigation) and 3 (The 'Compensation Factor'). Back

145   Neil O'May, Q. 201. Research studies have found that conviction is more likely where there was a concurrent charge for a similar offence. These are cited in Bostock, [2000] Crim. L.R. 734-755. Back

146   Q. 232. Back

147   Neil O'May, Q. 233, British False Memory Society, Vol. II, Ev 25-7, Timothy Hackett, Vol. II, Ev 58-9. Penney Lewis has said that the 'fair trial' test has been "sidelined" by the Court of Appeal for a test "based on the justifiability of the delay", which tends to lean in favour of the prosecution: Vol. II, Ev 70-1. See also Penney Lewis and Alastair Mullis, 'Delayed Criminal Prosecutions for Childhood Sexual Abuse: Ensuring a Fair Trial', (1999) 115 Law Quarterly Review 265. Back

148   Penney Lewis, Vol. II, Ev 70-1. Back

149   In a jury simulation study, the participants (i.e., the potential jurors) said that they would most regret a mistaken acquittal as compared with a wrongful conviction where the charge was child sex abuse. The study is cited in Bostock, [2000] Crim. L.R. 734-755, at 738. Back

150   Sir David Calvert-Smith QC, Vol. II, Ev 33-7, pp. 35-6. Compare DDP. v. Boardman [1975] A.C. 421, HL with the more recent decisions in DPP. v. P. [1991] 2 A.C. 447, R. v. H. [1995] 2 A.C. 596 and R. v. Christou [1997] A.C. 117. Back

151   Q. 201. Back

152   Justice for All, Cm. 5563 (Home Secretary, Lord Chancellor, Attorney-General, July 2002) foreword. Back

153   See section 1 (The Investigation). Back

154   Bob Woffinden, QQ. 88, Phil Craig, Q. 180 and Chris Saltrese, Q. 240. Back

155   Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers (FACT), Vol. II, Ev 45-6. Back

156   Vol. II, Ev 74-5. Back

157   Those opposed to the idea included Association of Chief Police Officers, Vol. II, Ev 2-11, British Association of Social Workers, Vol. II, Ev 25, British False Memory Society, Vol. II, Ev 25-6, Care Leavers Association, Vol. II, Ev 27-8, Penney Lewis, Vol. II, Ev 70-1, Respond, Vol. II, Ev 96-7, Voice UK, Vol. II, Ev 123. Clear arguments both for and against a time limit were set out by Sir David Calvert-Smith QC, Vol. II Ev 33-7. Back

158   See for example, Sir David Calvert-Smith QC, Vol. II, Ev 33-7. A detailed account of such factors is set out in 'Child Abuse in Community Institutions and Organisations: Advancing Professional and Scientific Understanding', David A. Wolf, Peter G. Jaffe, Jennifer L. Jette, Samantha E. Poisson (as yet unpublished). Back

159   Vol. II, Ev 74-5. Back

160   Setting the Boundarides: Reforming the Law on Sex Offences, (Home Office, July 2000), para. 3.6.6. Back

161   Neil O'May, Q. 256. Back

162   The leading case is DPP. v. P. [1991] 2 A.C. 447, HL. See also Professor Adrian Keane Vol. II, Ev 66-7, Professor Solomon Salako Vol. II, Ev 102-105, Professor Colin Tapper Vol. II, Ev 116-117, Richard Webster Vol. II, Ev 125-127. Back

163   Neil O'May, Q. 201. Back

164   See for example, Claire Curtis-Thomas MP, Q. 837, Detective Inspector Andrew Parker, Professor Gisli Gudjonsson, Dr Janet Boakes, Q. 1043-1046. Back

165   See for example, Richard Webster, Q. 98. Back

166   As advocated, obiter, by Lord Cross in DPP v. Boardman [1975] A.C. 421 at 459, HL. Back

167   See the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Acts 1976 and 1992. Back

168   See for example, Rory O'Brien, Q. 177, Chris Saltrese, Q. 241, Linzi McDonald and Neil O'May, Q. 242, Dr William Thompson, Detective Inspector Andrew Parker, Professor Gisli Gudjonsson and Dr Janet Boakes, Q. 1047. Back

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