Oxford student has rape case dropped after two years
AN OXFORD student who was accused of rape has had the case against him dropped after two years.
Oliver Mears, a St Hugh's College undergraduate, was accused of raping and indecently assaulting a woman in July 2015, when he was 17.
On Thursday a judge at Guildford Crown Court was asked by the Crown Prosecution Service to record a verdict of not guilty.
This followed a review of the case as new evidence, including a diary, emerged.
The case collapsed just days before the trial was due to begin on Monday with Mr Mears having been on bail since he was accused and concerns have been raised about the actions of police and prosecutors.Formally dismissing the case yesterday, the judge criticised 'unnecessary delays', and the 'completely unnecessary last-minute decision' , saying it had 'hung over the heads' of the defendant and the complainant for two years.
The CPS has been given 28 days by the judge to tell Mr Mears in writing what had gone wrong, and what role the prosecutors and police had played.
Mr Mears' lawyers had also complained of a failure to release evidence which they say would have proved their client's innocence.
A spokesman for Surrey police said the trial had been discontinued for a number of reasons and that the force was undertaking an internal review of its investigation.
A CPS spokesman said: “Following a review of this case, prosecutors were not satisfied there was a realistic prospect of conviction as the evidential test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors was not met.
"We therefore decided to offer no evidence.”
Mr Mears, a 19-year-old from Surrey, suspended his chemistry course whilst awaiting trial because of stress.