‘Restoring confidence so victims report rape is key’

As the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer is responsible for prosecutions, legal issues and criminal justice policy. Since he took up the post in November 2008, he has had to contend with the case of the death of Ian Tomlinson at the 2009 G20 Summit, the controversy around assisted suicide and has been drawn into the News of the World phone hacking scandal. Now he faces another challenge.

Last autumn, a 28-year-old mother began an eight-month prison sentence for “falsely retracting” a rape allegation against her husband, despite the court accepting that she had suffered prolonged domestic abuse and had withdrawn the rape accusation under pressure from her husband.

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