Doubts cast over evidence reliability at Hucknall rape case

Doubts were cast on the reliability of the mentally disabled woman’s evidence by the legal team representing Hucknall man Keith Robinson at this week’s rape trial.

By Court Reporter
Thursday, 27th February 2014, 1:43 pm

Nottingham Crown Court heard that the woman, said to have been sexually abused by Robinson, gave two different versions of the alleged attacks on Wednesday 11th July 2012.

The first version was given to a specially trained police officer two weeks later. The second was given ten months further on, in May 2013, in an interview with a reputable psychologist, Dr Jennifer Cutler.

Dr Cutler carried out specific tests using illustrated cards, in which the woman had to give answers of yes, no or not sure about what had happened with Robinson.

“Such tests are very important for someone who has difficulty expressing themself,” said Steven Gosnell (defending).

The woman completed the tests, said Mr Gosnell, but the results did not tally with what she had originally told the police.

“Dr Cutler felt that this was because of the passage of time since the incident,” Mr Gosnell continued.

“But we know that while the woman’s short-term memory is hopeless, her long-term memory is very good.

“Dr Cutler has a fantastic level of expertise. But we cannot ignore the significance of this inconsistency. The woman’s account of the rape is wholly unrealistic.”

Mr Gosnell urged the jury to show common sense in coming to their decision.

“This is a case of one word against another,” he said. “There is no scientific evidence to support what the woman says, and there are no eye-witnesses.

“We have the evidence, but inferences have been drawn. This is no place for speculation or assumptions.”

Mr Gosnell said Robinson accepted that he “enjoyed regularly looking at porn” on a laptop. But he denied that he had shown it to the woman for sexual gratification. He had Googled the word ‘sex’ and played a film for about 30 seconds.

Robinson, formerly of Amesbury Circus, Nottingham, was described in court as “a quiet man”.

When initially arrested, he refused to answer police questions -- on the advice of his solicitor. But he prepared a written statement in which he “completely denied” the allegations against him.

Robinson faced more than two hours of cross-examination from both Mr Gosnell and prosecuting barrister, Richard Thatcher.

He denied knowing that the woman had a severe mental disorder. And he said he was “ashamed, disgusted and very sorry” that he had shown her images of a couple having sex.

When asked if he had sexually abused the woman in any way, Robinson said: “No” several times.

“I did not rape her,” he declared.