The legal pitfalls around rape and alcohol were powerfully illustrated in a landmark case last year in which a security guard had sex with the 21-year- old woman student while she was lying drunk and unconscious in a corridor outside her flat in a university hall of residence.
Even though the security guard, 20-year-old Ryairi Dougal, was a stranger to the woman, a judge at Swansea Crown Court instructed the jury to bring in a not guilty verdict because she could not remember whether she had given consent.
"Drunken consent is still consent," Mr Justice Roderick Evans told the jury.
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Solicitor General Mike O'Brien claims that the number of complaints about rape has gone up "quite sharply" but the number of convictions has risen only "very slightly".
Speaking on the Today programme this morning, Mr O'Brien said that only between three per cent and nine per cent of rape claims were "vexatious" – when the case has been instituted maliciously and without probable cause.
That suggests, he argues, that "an awful lot of people who are committing rapes are getting away with it" and is the reason why the government wants to overhaul the current system.
[Is] the societal problem of women framing men ... worse than the problem of rapists getting off (bad pun) because the prosecution can't prove the consent element[?]
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