A Teenage Sex Abuse Victim Killed Herself
Tragic ... Dana Baker
A TEENAGE sex abuse victim killed herself after a barrister's blunder caused her attacker's rape trial to collapse. Attacker is retried and jailed 8 yrs for assault
Prosecutor David Jones breached strict legal rules on witness contact by meeting Dana Baker at his home.
It caused the trial to be halted after the judge was alerted. Mr Jones later resigned as a barrister.
Tragic Dana had been abused by her karate teacher Jaspal Riat, 48, when she was 13 and 14 years old.
Riat, from Birmingham, was jailed for eight years in September 2011 at Gloucester Crown Court after jurors heard how he had tied up and had sex with Dana.
He was cleared of rape but was convicted of sexual assault and seven counts of sexual activity with a child.
Riat first went to trial at Birmingham Crown Court in summer 2010.
A jury was sworn in on August 2 and prosecutor Mr Jones — a barrister for 40 years — opened the case on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service.
But the next day Judge Philip Parker QC discharged the jury after hearing about the meeting with Dana, then 15.
It took place on July 29, 2010, at Mr Jones' home. Dana was accompanied by her foster mother and a carer. Mr Jones's wife was also there.
Yet the barrister breached his profession's code of conduct because the CPS was not notified, no police officer was there and no notes were taken.
Mr Jones had said he had wanted to discuss with Dana if she would give evidence via a TV link, or live in court behind a screen.
Mr Jones later resigned from the bar and a second trial was ordered, but tragic Dana never saw her attacker brought to justice.
In March last year the then 16-year-old hanged herself near a busy roundabout in Kidderminster, Worcs.
She had made a final cry for help on Facebook hours before she killed herself, writing: "Lying here, trying to figure out what I'm gonna do."
An inquest into her death was opened last autumn. A full hearing to determine how and why she died will be held later this month.
Despite her death, West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service successfully argued for a retrial and lawyers had crucial videotaped evidence from her admitted.
Mr Jones was unavailable for comment.