An harrowing documentary about low conviction rates for rape has shown how one victim felt she had to report the attack, even though she didn’t feel like she was being tried. 

Rape: Who’s On Trial tonight, Channel 4, features testimony from survivors. The program explores the astonishingly low conviction rates of sexual offences. This is done by following Avon Police over two-years.

A woman who claims she was raped by a man she met in a cubical toilet said she felt she was being tried, not her abuser. 

After they concluded there was not enough evidence, she said that she regretted having reported her alleged assault.    

Police said that they believed they could make a strong case for women who have reported being sexually assaulted, in other cases covered by the Channel 4 documentary. However, the accused perpetrators were found not guilty later. 

From March 2020 to March 2020, only 1.4% of recorded rape cases resulted into a suspect being arrested in the UK. Only two cases were shown in which the suspect was freed, the other without sufficient evidence to prove that he had been charged. 

Featuring powerful testimony from victims, Rape: Who's on Trial, explores the low conviction rates for sexual offences by following Avon & Somerset Police over two years. Stock image

Featuring powerful testimony from victims, Rape: Who’s on Trial, explores the low conviction rates for sexual offences by following Avon & Somerset Police over two years. Photo from Stock

One case also featured body cam footage showing a teenage girl trapped in a police car, scared that her mother had invaded her bedroom to raped and assault her.

A mother of 16-year old girl, can be heard calling police to say that her child was forced to do oral sex by an unknown person.  

This documentary shines light on women who reported but didn’t get a conviction. 

A Bath woman also reported sexual assault after she met a man at a bar and exchanged numbers. They went to the bathroom together. 

She claimed that she met the man in the male sex cubical and she consented for him to perform sexual acts upon her. But the man said that physical contact with her was consensual and mutual. 

The case was further investigated by police, who discovered intimate photos of the perpetrator had been sent to him. However, the detectives were unable to establish beyond doubt the accusation. 

According to her, it has impacted me in many ways. “I’ve had several panic attacks and I feel less confident overall. 

In the year to March 2020, just 1.4 per cent of rape cases recorded by police resulted in a suspect being charged in the UK. Pictured, Constable Mandy Claridge and Detective Constable Dale Morgan

Only 1.4% of all rape cases that were recorded by the police in March 2020 led to a UK suspect being arrested. Pictured, Constable Mandy Claridge and Detective Constable Dale Morgan

“I haven’t been out as often. They demanded my phone. I understood that they wanted more information. But I felt a bit like I was being tested. Do they have a view of my life? It felt intrusive. 

‘I wish it hadn’t been reported, because it impacts your life so severely, and then to receive a phone call from them to tell you they aren’t taking it any further, as it doesn’t exceed their point threshold. It’s okay.  

Two women claimed that they were both raped in another Bristol hotel by the same man after having sex with him. 

According to one woman, she claimed that she was awakened by a stranger in her room and had non-consensual sexual sex with her friend. 

The man was eventually charged after two years with the rapes of both the woman and the girl. The man claimed that he met both women while they were going back to their rooms. He also said that the sex was consented. 

Rape: Who's On Trial? will air on Channel 4, Monday 9pm. Pictured, Detective Constable Dale Morgan and Constable Mandy Claridge

The Rape Trial: Channel 4 at 9pm Monday. Pictured, Detective Constable Dale Morgan and Constable Mandy Claridge

What is the prevalence of rape in Britain?  Last year, England and Wales saw a record number of cases.

New figures last week revealed that the numbers of reported rape offenses rose by 22% in England and Wales last year. 

According to the Office for National Statistics(ONS), there were 61.158 reported rapes during the year ended June. 

This record was the highest annual total and included 17285 crimes between April & June. It also includes the highest quarterly figure.

Also, there was a 8% increase in sexual offence rates over last year (164763) during the twelve-months to June. 

The highest quarterly record (48,553) was the reason for this. This figure is the same period of three months in 2021. 37% of all recorded sexual offenses by the police were attributed to rape.

Nick Stripe is the ONS’ head of crime statistics. He stated that the ONS’s police records show an ‘important increase in sexual offenses and rape recorded during the April-June 2021 quarter’. However, he cautioned against interpreting these data.

He stated that victims are more likely to report crimes than they were before lockdowns became easier.

For the 12 month period ended December 31, police reported 846,235 domestic abuse-related offences (non including fraud crime) which is an increase of 6% from the 813,958 offenses the year before.

These 687,328 violence incidents against the victim were categorized as domestic abuse-related. This is a 7 percent increase over the prior year.

ONS stated that it was ‘difficulty to determine’ domestic abuse rates in the country using data from police.

It added that victim services data suggests domestic abuse experiences may have been more severe during national lockdown periods and that victims had difficulty accessing support in these circumstances.

According to the ONS, domestic abuse-related crime and sexual offenses recorded by police “do not give a reliable measure for trends in these kinds of crimes” as police record practices have improved and victims are more likely to report.

The report added that the figures did not provide an accurate measure of crime-related demands on police officers.

CCTV footage captured the man trying to open doors before two women arrived at the foyer. 

This image depicts the women arriving at the lobby and where the man sits down by himself. The man follows them upstairs. 

“There is a point at which one of the girls leans toward the suspect. This is called a long range view on CCTV. Although it looks like they are having a possible kiss, the girl quickly collapses to the floor within ten second,” said detective Dale Morgan. 

The footage shows him entering the room with the women and remaining there for 3 hours, before he leaves without his shirt on. 

The jury convicted the defendant on all counts of rape after a four day trial during which the two women testified and the defendant denied having sex with them. 

Detective Morgan said, “I was not planning for this possibility, but I felt we had an extremely strong case.” 

The woman who filed the case said that she and her husband were shocked by the outcome. You do sometimes feel very empty during that moment, but to be truthful it is a little blurry and took several days to fully sink in. 

“The rage is what makes me really mad. It hurt me then. Now, it makes me angry. Society has betrayed me. It wasn’t the system that I felt, but the jury.

Another case, in Birmingham: a schoolgirl of 16 years. was raped on her way home by a male in his early 20s after he followed her off the bus, approached her and used threats to coerce her into masturbating him and performing oral sex. 

In a disturbing phone call detailing the ordeal to the police, she is heard saying: ‘He said “You’re going to give me a hand job”. 

‘I said “No I really don’t want to, please can I just go”, and he said “No you’re going to do it” and unzipped his trousers and took down his pants. 

‘Then said “Put your hand on my penis and give me a hand job” so I started doing that and after about a minute or so he said, “Now you need to suck me d***” and I was like “No” and he threatened me again.’  

Mandy Claridge, Constable, and her colleagues track the suspect using CCTV footage. This gives them a better image, which allows for a more public appeal to the perpetrator. 

The case was finally closed 12 days after the original incident. A shaken woman called police complaining of being harassed at night near the crime scene. 

“Why are you following my lead?”She says this to the stranger. “You are threatening me. What is your problem?” 

You can hear the man wearing a dark hat and green jacket.

Constable Claridge received a tip that indicated the perpetrator was an active sex offender in the area. He approached women and harassed them, and was known for being ‘aggressive’ when they refused to take him down. 

The perpetrator, Michael Murray, 29, was eventually arrested and despite denying the crimes in his police interview, pled guilty to common assault and rape and was jailed for nine years.

Chief Constable Sarah Crew explained that ‘Stranger Rapes represent a small percentage of all rapes reported to us. 

“In some ways, they are the easiest for us to examine because there is never an issue with consent to being violently dragged from the street and so intimately attacked by strangers. 

Michael Murray, 29, was eventually arrested and despite denying the crimes in his police interview, pled guilty to common assault and rape and was jailed for nine years after forcing himself on a 16-year-old on a bus

Michael Murray, 29 years old, was arrested. He denied all the allegations in his police interview and, after forcing himself onto an 16-year-old boy on a bus, he pleaded guilty to common assault, and rape.

The show features one case where the perpetrator is a trusted relative. This happens when a young girl reports that her mother has raped it. 

In harrowing footage, the 19-year-old’s distressed mother explained to the police: ‘It’s the first time she’s been to his house, his flat. I think he mistook her for me because we’d all had a drink.’ 

The young lady began to sob, saying: “No. And I kept saying no, but he continued having sex. However, I think he believed I was his mum. But I told him no. 

According to her, she claimed that her mother had worn her pajamas to her boyfriend’s apartment and was about to fall asleep upstairs. The suspect then entered her room, began to touch her, and pulled down her pants, and started raping her. 

He claimed that he entered the spare room, but realised that he wasn’t in the right place and had left. 

Detective Mike Banks performed forensics and found that the victim had a lot of DNA in his penis, as well as on the inside his boxer briefs. 

The anonymous victim in the case said that he and his mother had been married for two years. It was about a year ago that I had my first encounter with him. He also spent Boxing Day in our home. 

‘I didn’t see him as family, I’d only known him for a year I didn’t think badly or negatively of him. He was somebody I believed made Mum happy. 

‘You’re in a place you assume is safe, you’re not on alert, when you’re walking alone in the dark you’re aware, whereas if it’s someone you know. I shouldn’t have to make sure I’m safe sleeping in a bed, in the night.’ 

Although he was initially charged, he took his own death before he could be tried. 

It was ended and there could not be a verdict.  

“Sounds like a shock to everybody,” said the victim. “I wept. I was almost in shock and started to cry. My feelings were not what I expected, so I didn’t know how to feel. I then thought of Mum because the news would likely hurt me more. 

“Comprehend that it is done without trial. Understanding why this is not happening was the hardest part. 

“It’s kind of mad, but he did it. But he’s innocent. Nobody got to see the evidence, so he’s not guilty. This is really frustrating, it seems like he got away. 

She was not able to visit her alleged accomplice in court. 

The Trial of the Rape Victims Channel 4 will broadcast the episode Monday at 9pm