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Police and CPS to probe why man wrongly jailed for 6 months; innocent anthony, 51, planning to seek compensation.

Byline: JENNY KIRKHAM ECHO Reporter jenny.kirkham@trinitymirror.com @PJ_Kirkham

POLICE and the Crown Prosecution Service have pledged to investigate why an innocent man spent six months in jail for an acid attack he did not commit.

As a result of the allegation made by Lauren Lennard, 51 year-old Anthony Brack was locked up, awaiting trial, for half a year.

On Monday, Mr Brack walked free from court after spending the duration of his holding in segregation for his own safety, when the prosecuting barrister, Jonathan Rogers, explained he had been instructed that morning by the CPS to offer no evidence.

The case was then dismissed. Mr Brack denied four offences against Lauren Lennard, who lived in the same supported accommodation as him in Hartington Road. He faced up to 16 years in prison if convicted.

The evidence reportedly showed that the alleged victim had burned herself with bleach in the past, as well as making a separate acid attack allegation about a boyfriend of hers.

Judge Steven Everett was highly critical of the Crown Prosecution Service, and the investigating police officer, over their handling of the case including delays in handing over "devastating" medical evidence.

Merseyside Police and Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service have now issued a joint statement in relation to this case. The statement read: "The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) keeps all cases under continual review. Following receipt of further information from Merseyside Police at the start of this trial, the CPS concluded that there was no longer a realistic prospect of a conviction and stopped the prosecution.

"The CPS and Merseyside Police have noted the comments of the judge and we will be working together to examine the handling of this case and any lessons that can be learned."

In court the judge said he was "astonished" the medical evidence had not been seen earlier, adding: "On the face of it, it seriously undermined the case."

The court heard that Ms Lennard had also made allegations against other people, including assaults, which were not proceeded with because of inconsistencies or insufficient evidence. She had also made an allegation of another acid attack two weeks after the first allegation, by an ex-boyfriend.

As well as asking why medical reports were not obtained, the judge said: "The big question is what checks were made about the previous allegations?" Mr Brack had denied applying a corrosive substance with intent, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, an alternative charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm and putting a person in fear of violence between November 30 last year and February 6. After the hearing he said that he plans to sue for wrongful arrest and for compensation for the time he spent on remand.

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Anthony Brack, 51, walked free from court after spending six months in jail for an acid attack he didn't commit

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 2, 2018
Words:475
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