Woman conceived by rape wants father brought to justice

A woman who claims she was conceived by child rape wants to use her own DNA to bring her father to justice in a ‘victimless prosecution’.

The complainant says mother was just 13 when a family friend raped in the 1970s. She said her birth is proof of a child rape and wants a DNA test carried out to use as evidence against her father.

However, the police have said ‘the law does not recognise her as a victim in these circumstances’. 

An actress depicts the moment the woman realised she had DNA evidence stating ‘I am DNA evidence, i’m a walking crime scene’ – reenactment on BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme

The complainant said she discovered the background of her conception while studying her own adoption records – actors play woman under the pseudonym ‘Vicky’ and mother

West Midlands Police said they had liaised closely with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) over the allegation and it would not support a prosecution through the courts. 

Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Phillips, says children conceived through rape should ‘absolutely’ be considered victims.

Speaking to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme under the pseudonym ‘Vicky’, the complainant said she discovered the background of her conception while studying her own adoption records.

The complainant says that her mother was let down by West Midlands Police (pictured, left, the force’s headquarters in Birmingham). Jess Phillips MP (right) says that children conceived as the result of rape should be classed as victims 

She said: ‘The records said she’d gone to babysit at his house, and he raped her. It says in seven different places in the files that it was rape.

‘It states his name and address, that social services, police, health workers knew – but nothing was done about it. It made me feel angry, devastated for my birth mum. For me.’

She said her birth mother had been let down by the original police investigation in the 1970s.

‘It was then that I thought: ‘I’ve got DNA evidence, because I am DNA evidence.’ ‘I’m a walking crime scene and it’s all written in the files. Surely people are going to take me seriously?’

A woman alleging that she was born as the result of a child rape in the 1970s wants the bring the case to court in a ‘victimless prosecution’ (actor playing ‘Vicky’ in BBC illustration of event)

The woman said: ‘Because of that crime, I am alive. My whole life’s been dictated by it, but no-one will see me as a victim. (played by an actor)

But police have told her she is ‘not a victim’. No rape complaint was made in the 1970s and the woman’s mother has not wanted to co-operate with an investigation since.

The woman said: ‘Because of that crime, I am alive. My whole life’s been dictated by it, but no-one will see me as a victim.

‘I am living, breathing proof of a child rapist and nobody is interested. How is that OK?’

She added: ‘I want the police to demand a DNA test. I want the police and social services to apologise for their failures and to learn, and I want the definition of victim to be reviewed.’

She had confronted her father about the allegation, but he did not confirm or deny the claim.

What is a ‘victimless prosecution?’ 

‘Victimless prosecutions’ are ones in which no evidence is submitted by the victim of the crime being alleged.

If victims are unwilling to present evidence themselves and it is in the public interest to bring a prosecution without their involvement, then a victimless prosecution can be brought.

A common measure of whether or not such cases are in the public interest is the likelihood of protecting the victim from further abuse.  

If an initial complaint was made to the police, that statement can be submitted as ‘hearsay’ evidence even if the victim withdrew it at the time.  

The woman said: ‘This has nearly beaten me down. Being adopted comes with so many difficulties, and the trauma of this has affected every part of my life. But I will persevere because I know this is so wrong and I want justice.’

Chief Superintendent Pete Henrick, head of West Midlands Police’s public protection unit, said the force did not under-estimate the impact ‘no doubt suffered’ by the complainant.

He added that the force had not received a rape claim in the 1970s and the alleged victim did not wish to co-operate when approached by her daughter in 2014.

The force said: ‘In light of this, she asked whether she could be identified as a victim herself and if the case could be progressed on those grounds.

‘The law does not recognise her as a victim in these circumstances. We liaised with the CPS and were advised they would not support a prosecution.

‘Our handling of the case was scrutinised by both our professional standards department and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, at the time, and both agreed the police action and conclusion were appropriate.’

The complainant met Birmingham City Council officers in 2015 and a ‘full review’ of information she presented was carried out.

A spokesman for the local authority said that, since April 2018, when children’s social care services in Birmingham have been provided by Birmingham Children’s Trust, there had been no contact with the complainant.

The council added: ‘We would, of course, be very happy to meet with her if she would find that valuable.’

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