Holidaymaker cleared of groping three women at bus station
A tourist has been cleared of groping three girls at a bus station after one of the alleged victims admitted inventing her story.
A judge ordered the papers to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions after telling the jury that the woman’s actions were “a very wicked thing to do”.
The trial of Kasra Miah was stopped after the last of three women admitted she had not been touched by the holidaymaker at Exeter Bus Station.
She broke down under cross-examination and admitted she had invented her story to support her two friends, who also made complaints to the police.
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The witness could now by prosecuted for wasting police time or perverting the course of justice.
Miah, 49, of Clipstone Street, Bloomsbury, London, denied three counts of sexual assault by touching. He was found not guilty on the orders of Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.
The judge told the jury: ”Sometimes cases take surprising turns and this is one. You will remember the last witness said in terms when giving evidence and in her police statement that the defendant had assaulted her.
“When she was cross-examined she accepted she had not been touched at all. When I asked her why, she said she had been asked by the first girl to say something had happened.
“She now says nothing happened at all. This defendant has been awaiting trial for some months and would have been liable to significant punishment for that act, if convicted.
“It looks as if she simply invented the story. In view of that, and of what you may think is the unsatisfactory nature of the rest of the evidence in which the CCTV does not seem to show the defendant had the opportunity to commit the offence, I shall direct you to return a not guilty verdict.
“I am directing the papers in this case be sent to the DPP. It is a very wicked thing to do to make totally false allegations of this nature against anybody.
“You will be glad to hear this sort of thing does not happen more than once or twice in a lifetime on the bench.
“On the face of it the last complainant seems to have made completely false allegations because her friend said she needed to. It was definitely the most serious of the three.”
During the one-day case the prosecution alleged Miah groped one girl’s bottom, another’s breasts and put his hand between the legs of the third.
The first two girls both told the jury they had seen the alleged assault on the third, thus undermining their credibility as witnesses.
The case was stopped before he had a chance to give evidence but at the time he told police he had only approached the three girls to ask which bus he should take.
Miah, who was in Devon visiting friends and family, remains in custody because he is already serving another sentence for a wholly unrelated matter arising out of a neighbours’ dispute in London.
The three complainants cannot be identified because they retain anonymity for life despite the case being thrown out.