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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Rape defendant calls for anonymity
Christian Newman
Christian Newman: "I have had to face trial by the press"
A businessman falsely accused of rape has called for anonymity for defendants in such cases, saying the allegation ruined his life.

The case against Christian Newman, 28, collapsed at Reading Crown Court on Thursday after the prosecution said his 26-year-old accuser had lied about her relationship with the defendant.

Judge Charles Elly directed the jury to acquit Mr Newman on both counts, of rape and indecent assault.

The attacks were alleged to have taken place at his father's mansion on the River Thames at Caversham, Berkshire, in June 2002.

On Friday, Mr Newman criticised the police and the Crown Prosecution Service for having taken the case to court.

Of course there should be anonymity for both parties. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
Christian Newman
Mr Newman, an internet company boss worth 12m who lives in Covent Garden, London, said: "I spent 28 years building my life up to what it is now and one drunk girl and her lies nearly took that all away from me.

"I have a 2m London penthouse, drive a Ferrari and am a successful person, a good person, why would I want to jeopardise all that?

"It's just common sense, but they didn't want to listen."

Mr Newman said he was lucky to be able to hire a top QC to represent him and said he was not angry at his accuser.

Police inquiry

But he added: "She got anonymity, a screen in court - everything was set up in her favour, I got nothing.

"Of course there should be anonymity for both parties.

"What happened to innocent until proven guilty? I have had to face trial by the press as well."

The trial collapsed after the defence produced a number of intimate text messages sent to Mr Newman's mobile phone from his alleged victim.

The prosecutor, barrister Sandra Stanfield, told the court the police had been in possession of Mr Newman's phone for four months and did not disclose the texts.

Chief Superintendent Dave Murray, of Thames Valley Police, said officers were already looking into exactly what information from the mobile phone was shared with the Crown Prosecution Service.

"We'll be in a better place to discuss this further once that is done," he said.

Internet boss cleared of rape
19 Jun 03  |  Berkshire

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