Rapists who ply victims with drink or drugs targeted in new clampdown

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Rapists who ply victims with drink or drugs are to be targeted by prosecutors in a new drive to boost the number of convictions for sex attacks. 

The Crown Prosecution Service will also focus on predatory men who pick out drunk women in bars, clubs or other locations in the belief that it will be easier to get away with sex offences committed against them. 

In each case, the aim will be to ensure that all available evidence is gathered and presented in court so that the events leading up to a crime can be fully understood by jurors. 

Such material will include CCTV, social media and testimony from witnesses who saw the attacker’s behaviour before the victim was selected.

The move was prompted by concern that some rapists might be escaping justice because the case against them concentrates only on the moments when the crime takes place. 

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, believes this risks missing a key part of the picture, particularly if a victim’s intoxication allows their account to be questioned. 

She will issue new advice to prosecutors to ensure they work with police to present all relevant evidence, including the previous conduct of “controlling” men who carry out rapes and other sex attacks on girlfriends. 

“We are looking at how to prosecute certain types of cases, the more difficult ones. They tend to involve drugs or drink and people who know each other,” Ms Saunders said. “Some of it will be if you have already been in a relationship, understanding the dynamics of coercive and controlling behaviour and presenting cases in a way that doesn’t just look at the individual incident.”

She added: “If it’s about drink and drugs, in some of them there will have been a targeting element, either by buying drinks or standing back until you pick somebody off.”

Ms Saunders said that in the past year there had been a “double digit” rise in the number of prosecutions for serious sexual offending including rape. 

Last month, cab driver Jahir Hussain, 37, was jailed for 12 years after attacking three women who passed out in his cab on separate occasions in Shoreditch. He admitted eight offences, including two rapes and five other sex crimes.

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