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Rape trial girl slams court system

PUBLISHED: 11:57 15 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:21 03 March 2010

A TEENAGE witness in a Suffolk rape trial, which collapsed when she was unable to continue giving evidence, has slammed the court system.

A TEENAGE witness in a Suffolk rape trial, which collapsed when she was unable to continue giving evidence, has slammed the court system.

The 16-year-old had accused a man of rape and indecent assault. Now she has called for a better organised court process to prevent a repeat of the hold-ups which left her feeling unable to carry on with her testimony.

The alleged rape victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, asked her carer to write a letter of complaint to Ipswich Crown Court following the collapse of Michael Stewart's trial last month.

Ross Taylor, court manager, has pledged to discuss her criticisms with relevant partners in the criminal justice system and confirmed that judges in Ipswich will also see if lessons can be learned from the case.

Judge Peter Thompson ordered the trial of the 50-year-old from St John's Hill, Woodbridge, to be stopped and directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict after the teenager said she was unable to continue giving evidence for a second day. Stewart had denied two charges of indecent assault and one of rape and was cleared of all three.

FULL STORY FOLLOWS LATER

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