Facebook messages help quash man’s rape conviction

A 26-year-old man given a four-and-a-half year jail term when convicted of rape has won an appeal after telling judges that Facebook messages boosted his credibility.

Danny Kay was jailed in late 2013 after a trial at Derby Crown Court and jurors heard a woman had accused him raping her in 2012, when he was 20.  

Kay denied rape and said sex had been consensual and challenged the conviction at a hearing in the Court of Appeal in London in November.

He claimed Facebook messages had been found which supported his side of the story. 

Danny Kay was jailed in late 2013 after a trial at Derby Crown Court (pictured) 

The woman said there had been little contact after sex. Kay said the fresh Facebook evidence showed otherwise and three appeal judges agreed and quashed his conviction.

They said, in a ruling published on Thursday, that the ‘full Facebook message exchange’ contradicted the prosecution case about the frequency of post-sex contact and supported Kay’s claim that sex had been consensual.   

Appeal judges heard that police asked the woman to retrieve Facebook messages she and Mr Kay exchanged.

Three pages of messages had been printed. The woman told jurors that she had deleted some messages to free up storage space.

Lawyers for Mr Kay said deleted messages had now been found in an archived folder in his account.

They said the retrieved information showed that jurors had been given an ‘edited and misleading’ picture of the Facebook conversation. Judges said the woman could not be identified. 

Appeal judge Mr Justice Goss said: ‘We have come to the conclusion that, in a case of one word against another, the full Facebook message exchange provides very cogent evidence both in relation to the truthfulness and reliabity of (the woman) … and the reliability of (Mr Kay’s) account and his truthfulness.

‘This further evidence does raise a reasonable doubt as to whether (Mr Kay) would have been convicted had it been before the jury, thus rendering the conviction unsafe.’

It comes after three high profile cases in the past week failed to secure a prosecution.

Liam Allan’s trial was halted and the case against 25-year-old Isaac Itiary collapsed. 

And on Thursday, a Tory MP’s aide was cleared of rape after crucial evidence was finally disclosed just days before his two-week trial.

Samuel Armstrong, 24, was accused of attacking a young woman when she fell asleep following a night drinking at Parliament. 

Three cases collapse in the same week

December 14  

Liam Allan’s trial collapsed last Thursday after lawyers discovered his alleged victim texted him suggesting she wanted to have more sex after the alleged attack. 

The 22-year-old, from Kent, was charged with rape and said he had been ‘dragged through hell’ for two years.    

Talking about the moment his trial was ended, he said: ‘I was relieved, not just for me but for everyone who has been with me every step of the way and everyone this has impacted on.’

December 19 

Isaac Itiary, 25, was released from prison on Tuesday after it emerged the alleged victim posed as a 19-year-old woman and lied about her age.

Police officers had texts which showed the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was lying about her age but only released them last week.

Mr Itiary, from south east London, spent the last four months in custody awaiting his trial but was celebrating with his parents after his release. 

December 21     

Samuel Armstrong, 24, was today cleared of raping a woman after a night drinking in Parliament.

His defence team is believed to have waited up to nine months for phone and medical records which his accuser had refused to hand over to police. 

It has raised questions why it took the police to get the information and Armstrong, from Danbury, Essex, said he could have been wrongly convicted if the evidence was not disclosed before the trial. 

A jury cleared Samuel Armstrong, 24, (pictured) of two counts of rape following a two-week trial 

A jury cleared Samuel Armstrong, 24, (pictured) of two counts of rape following a two-week trial 

His defence team is understood to have waited up to nine months for phone and medical records which his accuser initially refused to hand over to police.

In messages eventually recovered from her phone, she said she had contacted a journalist just hours after the incident to secure a ‘sympathetic’ write-up, while her medical notes revealed details of a history of mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.

That information was not handed over to Mr Armstrong’s defence team until more than a year after the accuser first made the complaint, and just days before the trial was due to begin, raising questions over why it took the Met so long to get the information.

A jury at Southwark Crown Court then found Mr Armstrong not guilty of two counts of rape and other offences after a trial.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk