Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon has expressed her disappointment that some victims will be bitterly disappointed at the outcome of a PPS review of 15 sexual offence cases which had previous convictions set aside due to a legislative error.
The party’s Justice Spokesperson said:
“Following the revelations in September that convictions would be rescinded in 15 sexual offence cases involving 17 victims due to a legislative error, many victims were left traumatised and feeling let down by the system.
“The PPS agreed to conduct a review into whether fresh proceedings should be brought for those cases and they engaged with the victims involved to establish their views.
“While a number of victims indicated during this engagement that they did not wish to see a fresh prosecution, many others were supportive of new proceedings.
“Therefore today’s outcome will be a bitter blow to those victims who have already suffered the extremely traumatic experience of going through proceedings in the first place only to see their abusers’ convictions being rescinded.
“Sexual offence cases are notoriously difficult to get to court in the first place and the situation they find themselves in – through no fault of their own – is horrendous and likely deeply traumatic.
“The Department of Justice must do all that they can to provide the greatest possible support to these victims and should now explore how to provide redress to these victims where necessary and appropriate.
“It is absolutely vital this situation is extensively investigated to ensure that never again are victims let down so badly by the justice system.”