Readers would have to be living under a rock not to have at least heard about the Roxy v Ryan punch that wasn’t.
Yet what has played out in recent weeks bears a resemblance to what our courts face on a daily basis when criminal allegations are made. False allegations or accusations can be made. Not all allegations made are false and equally not all are true.
The Crown Prosecution Service and police have a poor record towards victims of crime.
Yet the agency’s current ‘victim-centric’ approach – designed, in part, to address the errors of the past – may in fact be creating another victim in the process, in the form of the accused.
That is why so many lawyers have recently raised concerns about disclosure problems.
These concerns relate to evidence that has not been allowed to emerge, or only emerged very late in the day, as a consequence of investigation failures brought about by the unconscious bias that the police and CPS often display against those accused.
Of course, victims have to believe that when they come forward they will be taken seriously, but not at the expense of fairness to the accused.
Natalie Smith, criminal defence solicitor, Hodge Jones & Allen, London NW1