Crouch End DJ calls for sex crime arrests to be anonymous
A father-of-two is pleading for people who are accused of rape and sexual assault to be granted anonymity, after he was cleared of raping a woman in 2010.
Steve Proctor was charged with rape but found not guilty by a jury at his trial in 2012.
In spite of being found innocent, he says his life was ruined after he was named.
“People say, ‘no smoke without fire’,” he said. “My case should never have gone to trial, but gossip goes around like wild fire. I’ve received death threats.”
Under the current law, everyone who is charged with any crime is automatically named.
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But Mr Proctor believes that the stigma attached to sex crimes means that the general rule should be that people should not be named unless they are found guilty.
Anyone who comes forward as the victim of a sex crime is granted lifelong anonymity and Mr Proctor argues that this means that the system is unbalanced.
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One of the founders of the acid house dance music scene and at the height of his career in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the 56-year-old now struggles to get work in the industry.
“People wouldn’t touch me,” he said. “Even now, DJs will not associate with me.”
As well as being on the court lists and in the press, Mr Proctor also claims that he was named multiple times by his alleged victim on social media sites Twitter and Facebook.
Mr Proctor says that he still suffers from insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
While he tries to remain positive, he says that others in his position have failed.
“I’ve heard about men killing themselves, or ending up on the streets,” he said.
He is also concerned about how the publicity has affected his children, now 18 and 14.
Mr Proctor is being supported in his calls by Camden-based law firm Hodge Jones and Allen.
Samira Khan, a criminal defence lawyer, says that those accused of sex crimes should be given blanket anonymity, unless there are specific public interest allowances.
It would be in the public interest to name someone accused of rape, for example, if it meant that it would encourage more potential victims to come forward.
“The stigma attached to sexual cases is long-lasting and has a huge impact,” Ms Khan said.
“The trauma is always huge, regardless of a not guilty verdict.”
The Broadway contacted Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, for a comment, but she declined.