Devon MP calls for review of child sex abuse case
A man accused of child sex abuse was named in Westminster by an MP who fears he was “getting away Scott free”.
In a rare step, Geoffrey Genge, of Plymouth, was identified in the House of Commons by Tory Gary Streeter using the legal protection of parliamentary privilege, in a bid to “ensure that justice is done”.
The South West Devon MP called on the Attorney-General to review the case, involving charges of rape and sexual abuse dating back 50 years, after it was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Despite prosecutors previously believing there was a realistic prospect of conviction, they learned the defendant’s solicitor planned to argue too much time had passed since the offences, so they “would not have a proper chance to put up the evidence”.
Mr Streeter said: The CPS must get their act together. Every effort must be taken to ensure that justice is done.”
Parliament heard that Margaret Felwick, who waived her legal right to anonymity, had contacted police in February last year to report a serious sex offence carried out against her by her brother 50 years ago.
Mr Streeter said she had not felt able to speak about the incident before, but on discovering two others had accused Mr Genge of abuse, she “could be silent no longer”, and all three went to the police.
The police reassured the accusers“there was strong evidence to support the case”, and Mrs Felwick of Plympton was notified by the CPS in August, 2011, that the prosecution would go ahead.
Mr Genge was charged with five offences of rape and sexual abuse, between 1957 and 1961, to which he pleaded not guilty. A trial was set for March 26, 2012 but on January 10, they learned the case had been dropped.
Mr Streeter branded the CPS’s handling of the case a “disaster”. He told the Commons: “I have absolutely no doubt that Mr Genge abused my constituents when they were children, and he is getting away Scott free. This is not British justice.”
Responding to the matter, Solicitor General Oliver Heald said he would ensure the issue was raised with the Director of Public Prosecutions.
In a statement, Mr Genge’s legal representative said: “Mr Genge says that these allegations are false. On January 9 2012 the prosecution offered no evidence in this case and Mr Genge was acquitted of all charges. Whilst we are relieved that the CPS took this decision finally, we remain concerned about the matter being pursued that far.”