Home / Insights / Blog / Woman Seeks First Crowdfunded Private Rape Prosecution

Woman Seeks First Crowdfunded Private Rape Prosecution

Woman Seeks First Crowdfunded Private Rape Prosecution

A woman is seeking the UK's first crowdfunded private rape prosecution. Emily Hunt, who says she was drugged and raped in 2015, felt that she was let down by the courts after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) claimed that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a case.

Ms Hunt has hired a barrister who believes there are grounds for a criminal prosecution and she is hoping to crowdfund the estimated £50,000 needed to bring the case. She says she hopes to lead the way for those "let down" by the courts.

Ms Hunt said:

"It is an amazing thing that we as individuals can bring a criminal charge in a case where the system has let us down, that can result in a rapist going to jail."

Complainant says she was drugged

On the evening of the alleged assault, Ms Hunt says that she woke up "completely naked" around 10pm, next to a man that she did not know, claiming that her last memory involved her having dinner with her father in the early evening. Ms Hunt says that she had a "light-bulb moment" when she "finally came to" that the man had drugged her. She said: "I'd never felt like that before. I'd lost five hours of my life and wound up somewhere where I didn't know how I got there."

She later hid in a bathroom and asked a friend to call the police. She only later became aware that they had had sex when police informed her that the man had "filmed her naked and unconscious on the bed."

Ms Hunt believes she was raped as she would not have been in a state to consent to sex.

Questions over CCTV footage and toxicity report

Ms Hunt's case was taken to the CPS, who studied CCTV footage that showed Ms Hunt and the man kissing and holding hands as they left a hotel bar earlier in the day. In addition, toxicology tests also showed no trace of the date rape drug GHB in her bloodstream, but did show that Ms Hunt had drunk enough alcohol to be two times over the drink-drive limit.

However, Ms Hunt said that the CCTV footage showed that she had to be supported to stand, highlighting that she was too inebriated to consent. She also stated that she believed the toxicology report to be "flawed."

In response to Ms Hunt's criticisms of the way in which the case was handled the Metropolitan Police said that it had "carried out a thorough investigation following Ms Hunt's allegations," stating that it "will always provide support to anyone who reports a serious sexual offence."

Crowdfunding legal cases in the UK

While uncommon, several online platforms are now dedicated to helping people to raise funds in order to seek private prosecutions. CrowdJustice is one such platform that allows individuals and lawyers to source money for prosecutions.

In April 2017, Britain’s first ever crowdfunded prosecution resulted in the acquittal of a defendant in just 17 minutes, after a jury found a woman not guilty of causing the death of cyclist Michael Mason by dangerous driving in February 2014.

The Cyclists' Defence Fund, a UK cycling charity, crowdfunded £80,000 to bring the case against Gail Purcell. Following the verdict of the jury, Mr Mason's daughter, Anna Tatton-Brown, said that her family were “disappointed” but that they did "draw some comfort from the fact that the evidence was finally put to a jury, something that should have happened long ago."

West London's leading personal injury lawyers

Our goal is to obtain justice for victims of assault or injury by securing compensation that reflects their pain and suffering, as well as related financial losses including loss of earnings, treatment costs and specialist care costs.

Call our personal injury and clinical negligence experts in confidence on 01895 207284. Alternatively, email us at PI@ibblaw.co.uk.