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Last Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007, 11:06 GMT
'No therapy' advice to chess star
Jessie Gilbert
Jessie fell to her death from a hotel window in the Czech Republic
A chess star who died after accusing her father of rape was told she should not have counselling before his trial, her mother has said.

Jessie Gilbert, 19, and her mother Angela were told any therapy might help the defence's case.

Jessie's father Ian was acquitted last December of assaulting her at the family home in Woldingham, Surrey.

The youngster fell from a hotel window, in the Czech Republic in July 2006, before the case came to court.

In her first interview since her daughter's death, Mrs Gilbert told BBC Radio 5 Live there had not been enough support.

I think that extra delay put tremendous strain on Jessie
Angela Gilbert

She said: "I still feel the system has been inadequate, partly because of some of the procedures and operating practices that are put in place.

"We were told that we couldn't seek counselling help. If we did it would have been used by the defence in order to weaken our evidence."

Mrs Gilbert believed a delay of several months in bringing the case to court last year had probably put extra strain on her daughter.

"I think that extra delay put tremendous strain on Jessie, I just don't think she could cope with it, it was more than her heart and soul could bear," she said.

Child's 'welfare'

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed Mrs Gilbert had been made aware of the issues that could be raised by the defence if Jessica received counselling.

"The welfare of a child is always at the forefront of our minds and while counselling can cause difficulties in a criminal case, this does not prevent people from having counselling," it said in a statement.

Mr Gilbert, a bank director, was accused of repeatedly raping Jessie between 1995 and 2000.

But he was cleared of all charges following at trial at Guildford Crown Court.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Angela Gilbert's first interview on the case



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23 Nov 06 |  London

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