Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 18:03 UK

Police ordered to re-examine rape

South Wales Police
Police are "concerned" the woman "is unhappy with the investigation"

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has ordered South Wales Police to reopen an inquiry into allegations of rape by a woman who refused to let the case drop.

It follows an undercover report by the Guardian newspaper into the claims made by the woman, aged 29, who is referred to by an assumed name of Beth Ellis.

A detailed account of her attempts to bring her alleged assailant to court has been published in the newspaper.

The CPS said she "deserves a thorough investigation of her allegations".

"We can confirm that Chris Newell, principal legal advisor for the Crown Prosecution Service, has asked the chief crown prosecutor for south Wales, Christopher Woolley, to refer the rape allegation made by Ms Beth Ellis in December 2005 back to the South Wales Police for it to be reinvestigated," said a CPS spokeswoman.

"Mr Newell reviewed the case with the assistance of an experienced rape specialist lawyer and identified a significant number of further inquiries that he believed should be made."

Ms Ellis deserves a thorough investigation of her allegations
Crown Prosecution Service

The woman, who now lives in the south of England, claims that as a child in the Swansea Valley she was raped by her stepfather.

She said South Wales Police spent nine months gathering evidence and witness statements before passing the file to crown prosecutors.

However, the file was then lost and not recovered for a number of months.

Finally, in February 2007, she was told that the CPS had decided not to proceed with the case.

In her journal extracts published in The Guardian, she wrote: "I don't know how to carry this. I'd be better off dead. I tried to do something about it, I try to show people what he did and they say there's no case to answer.

"This stinking world where a man spent 10 years raping me; another man spent a few days investigating it; and another man a few hours reading about it and a few minutes telling me: 'No - you cannot have what you want.'

"This has killed me."

'Thorough review'

However, Ms Ellis refused to take the CPS rejection and persuaded the Guardian to take up her case, which followed her back to south Wales to confront the CPS.

"Ms Ellis deserves a thorough investigation of her allegations," a CPS spokeswoman responded on Wednesday.

South Wales Police also confirmed that they were in discussions with the CPS to move the process forward.

"South Wales Police is clearly concerned that this individual is unhappy with the investigation and the way she was dealt with by the Crown Prosecution Service," said the force's deputy chief constable Peter Vaughan.

"As far as the investigation is concerned we will make every effort to ensure that her concerns are addressed.

"To this end we confirm that we have instructed our Major Crime Review Unit to undertake a thorough review of it.

"We will be in contact with the person concerned at the very earliest opportunity and will keep her informed of developments."

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