Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

CPS 'to blame for daughter's death'

The father of a girl who took her own life after learning she would be prosecuted over an alleged false rape claim has said he holds the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) responsible for her death.

Eleanor de Freitas died in April after receiving a summons for perverting the course of justice and now her father David said he believes his daughter would still be alive had the CPS not taken on the private prosecution brought by the man at the centre of the case.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders announced she was personally investigating the case, prompting a coroner to adjourn the inquest into her death to a later date.

Mr de Freitas told the Guardian: "We can see no reason whatsoever why the CPS pursued Eleanor. If the CPS had put a stop to it at the time I would still have a daughter.

"She would not be dead. It is as clear as that."

He told the Daily Mail his daughter, whom he said suffered from bipolar disorder, had been receiving counselling from a sexual abuse charity but had to stop when the prosecution was lodged.

He said: "When she got the private prosecution summons, for some unknown reason those sessions had to stop because of various legal issues involved. This was a vulnerable person who needed help, but was suddenly being deprived of it."

Welcoming the DPP's probe he said: "I just want everything surrounding Eleanor's death regarding the CPS to be heard in a proper and open manner."

The Metropolitan Police confirmed it had received an allegation of rape in January last year but the case was dropped after a man was arrested and released due to a lack of sufficient evidence. It was then that her alleged attacker initiated the legal action that would become a criminal prosecution.

In an earlier statement, Ms Saunders said: "I am very saddened by the tragic death of Eleanor de Freitas.

"I have asked the team which dealt with this case for a full explanation which addresses all of the de Freitas family's concerns.

"I appreciate the family's unease, which is why I am looking at this personally in order to satisfy myself of the detail surrounding all the stages of the case.

"Prosecuting cases of perverting the course of justice in connection with an alleged false rape allegation is rare, extremely difficult and always complex and sensitive.

"This case was one of the most difficult I have seen. To say any more at this stage would be inappropriate until I can answer the de Freitas family's concerns fully and directly."


From Belfast Telegraph