Legal And Technical Stuff

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Regarding any documents reproduced in this database/timeline (including videos), please refer to the site Copyright Notice. Every single file and webpage that appears herein or is linked from this database has been archived with the Wayback Machine, many by me personally. Particular webpages which I desired to but was unable to archive due to the robots.txt protocol or for some unspecified reason have - as I saw fit - been added directly to the database either as partial screengrabs of text or as in the case of the BAILII database, complete webpages. This means that any internal links on these particular pages may not work in future. The same caveat applies to other websites.

Some such pages have been simplified; I have done this because many webpages nowadays, especially on news sites, contain enormous quantities of code to run embedded videos and such. Removing this clutter makes the relevant article easier to read. In such cases the text has not been edited in any way, and I have in any case left the url at the top of the new page so those - I suspect many of you - who are au fait with the way webpages work, can consult the original (if it is extant and at the same address).

For the most part I have linked to archived pages; if though you find a broken link, please run the relevant url through the Wayback Machine.

Some archived pages give only restricted access to non-subscribers, for example, at the time of writing, the website of the Northern Echo displays the message below at the end of the first few paragraphs of an article after 10 pageviews; archived webpages display the same, so if you are reading the archived version of a particular article from that or websites that have similar limitations, you may have to link to the original (if extant) to read the rest, or alternatively find another webpage which contains broadly the same information.

With a few such sites I have saved the pages to disk, removed some code, then uploaded them to my own website, and archived them there. I have then deleted the new versions because I don’t want literally thousands of for the most part irrelevant files on either my disk or my site. You can tell these archived pages because their urls will always include this domain, ie; I have archived only a limited number of pages like this due to time constraints.

If you have trouble playing any of the videos, especially archived videos, save to disk and play on your own machine. Archived videos can be temperamental at times.

The quality of some of the JPG and PDF files herein leaves much to be desired; this is not my fault. Some of the PDF files were created by me; I have resorted to these particularly where the relevant report is too big to exhibit as a single JPG. Splicing two or more JPGs together to make a PDF will usually involve some overlap, and as my artistic skills are close to zero, I apologise in advance for any shoddy workmanship.

At one time I would exhibit all single page images and documents as JPGs reserving PDFs for longer documents. A couple of years or so ago I realised that sometimes a PDF is preferable for the former; if it is not clearer, it will still permit easier resizing options to make fuzzy text clearer, especially with older newspapers. The reader will therefore find a number of single page PDF files on this timeline.

If you have a problem with a particular PDF, you might like to save it to disk and open it in Acrobat Reader or whatever viewer you use, when you should be able to resize it better. Likewise JPGs can be resized if saved to disk; you can also convert them to PDF, there are a number of sites where you can do this on-line and for free.

Some PDF files on this timeline include highlighted text; for example, this one has the words false and rape highlighted. This is because they were used as search terms, the document having been extracted from a subscription database.

Because it was collated and proofed by one individual, this database may contain errors either of fact or of inference. New facts may come to light that alter the status of some entries. I cannot be held responsible either for this or for the errors of others (from newspapers, on-line reports and any other information incorporated within). This applies especially to dates, two examples of which will suffice.

Regarding the claim of a 13 year old girl that she was raped in a Greater Manchester park on May 29, 2007. The first report I found of this was from the Manchester Evening News dated April 20, 2010, from which one might reasonably believe this to be a somewhat belated report of a 2009 incident, yet the original BBC report is from 2007. Likewise the Stacey Challoner false rape report is from 2007-8; this Manchester Evening News report gives the impression it was 2009-10.

The names of various people may be misspelled; court reporters, journalists, and police press officers are human, and with the number of names contained here, some incorrect spellings are inevitable. When American law enforcement releases the names of accused people, victims, etc, their full names are usually given. For example, Brittany Cheyenne Thompson; to me she is simply Brittany Thompson (and a woman to avoid). You will find middle names given for people on this timeline, but just because I have not given a middle name, don’t assume there isn’t one.

When I give the name of a town or city without qualification, you can assume it is in England, or at least the UK. Thus an entry for Brighton means Brighton, England, not Brighton, Colorado.

In Canadian law, the word rape has long been replaced by the term sexual assault, apparently to take the stigma out of it, the stigma of rape being another of those widely held rape myths, in the West at least. Having said that, it is still used on occasion in courtrooms, as in the case of Byron Prior.

Police Caution

There are a number of references herein to people being cautioned in connection with false rape allegations. In the UK, a police caution can be administered only if the person receiving the caution makes an admission of guilt.


In the United States, a plea of no contest or nolo contendere is in effect a plea of guilty. An Alford plea is somewhat different; here, a defendant asserts his innocence without contesting the charge, but concedes there is enough evidence to convict him in the event of going to trial.

In the United States, district attorneys have the power to threaten guilty and innocent defendants alike with horrendous sentences if they choose to go to trial. I have personally met one American (charged with non-sexual offences) who was bludgeoned into pleading guilty after spending literally years on remand fighting extradition. Check out the case of Brian Banks for a clearly innocent man (a mere boy at the time) who was forced into a no contest plea.


Finally, a note on terminology. It has often been said that England and America are two nations divided by a common language. Generally I use English English, but I have alway preferred the phrase “take the stand” to “give evidence” (and declensions thereof). In England this is also referred to as going into the witness box. Here as in most jurisdictions, the defendant sits in the dock; in the US he usually sits with his legal team. He and she for all the previous, of course.

I have kept acronyms to a minimum, but one important distinction, in the United States, CPS refers to Child Protective Services. In the UK, CPS means Crown Prosecution Service, sometimes alluded to as the independent Crown Prosecution Service - yeah right. Alternatively Crown Persecution Service (especially in sex cases) or even Clown Prosecution Service.

Capitalisation - is it Bradford Police or Bradford police? Neither, actually, when I lived in Bradford half a lifetime ago it was West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police; today it is West Yorkshire Police. Generally if I am alluding to a specific police force I will capitalise, so if you see for example Chicago police it means I am alluding either to police generally or I am not sure how to address the force concerned. I hope you find that clearer than I do.

The Yanks spell defense thus; I have tried to use this spelling for American cases only!

The non-English cases where reported in their original languages have been brought to you mostly by the mighty Google’s translation tool. Mighty but at times not entirely accurate, so when reading reports translated from say French, please bear that in mind. In English we say “when pigs fly”; the Russian equivalent is “when shrimps whistle”. Neither of these sayings alludes to either pigs or shrimps, so again, please bear that in mind when you read something that sounds odd to your Anglicised ear.

Regarding statutory rape, I have addressed that here.

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