Police treating accusation as proof

The Herald reports:

Mark Pearson was walking through the busiest train station in the UK during peak hour when his life changed forever.

In his left hand he was carrying a newspaper. His right hand was holding the strap on his backpack. As he brushed past a woman walking in the opposite direction, their shoulders colliding briefly, the 51-year-old thought nothing more of it.

The woman, an actress on her way to a rehearsal, later told police Mr Pearson sexually assaulted her. She offered details of how he “penetrated her” on the concourse of Waterloo Station despite the fact she was wearing “training pants” under a dress and despite footage showing he never broke stride.

Mr Pearson said the case against him was “preposterous”, but still his name was dragged through the mud. For a year he defended himself in court and out of court. When he explained to people that it never happened like his accused said it did, he knew people were thinking: “Of course you would say that”.

A jury spent just 90 minutes deliberating before finding Mr Pearson not guilty last week.

It came as a relief to the married picture-framer but the damage had already been done.

“Anybody who has seen the CCTV images knows that I couldn’t possibly have done it,” Mr Pearson said.

The Police need to fully investigate all allegations.

But when the evidence doesn’t back up the allegation, it is quite wrong to prosecute. Sadly in many countries the policy seems to be that no matter how weak the case, we’ll prosecute and leave it to a jury.

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