No Further Action – What Does It Mean?
“No Further Action” – are these words you want to hear when you are being investigated for committing an offence or not?
No Further Action (NFA) in effect means that the Police are not taking any further action against you in respect of the allegations against you. This is usually accompanied by a sentence along the lines of “this decision is based upon the evidence available and may be reconsidered if additional evidence becomes available” – but the important thing is that the accused is not being charged with the offence, will not have to go to court, will not have to deal with the stress (and expense) of having to defend themselves in court.
So that’s a good thing – right?
But what about when you’ve been arrested for rape? When an ex girlfriend has made an allegation that you raped her several years ago, and that now you need to fight to clear your name.
That’s what happened to Richard.
He had met Jane several years earlier, they had been friends, confidants, exchanging calls and messages via online social media for almost a year before they met up. They went on to meet several times – always as friends – before eventually, things developed into more. They had sex, on more than one occasion, but things were messy, both had pasts and previous relationships and they seemed better suited as friends. They stayed friends for several months after the physical relationship ended, continuing to speak both on the phone, and via social media before things turned less friendly.
Richard had a new girlfriend and Jane seemed to resent that Richard wasn’t as available as he had been to chat. Richard blocked Jane on social media – the conversations had taken an unpleasant turn – and he didn’t hear anything further for several months.
About a year later he returned from holiday to be arrested as he got off the plane. Jane had accused him of raping her.
All Richard had was his words – he accepted that he had sex with Jane, but his genuine belief was that this was consensual.
Richard contacted Forrest Williams for help after he was released. He felt helpless, he had been provided with a duty solicitor at the statement for his interview but they had simply told him “not to worry” and that “the police will be in touch”. He couldn’t not worry, and he didn’t want to wait for the police to contact him. He wanted to be more proactive about it. He needed to be.
We met with Richard, we listened to him, and together we decided upon a course of action to help clear his name. We provided the police with copies of the correspondence our client had with his accuser in the months after the alleged rape. We submitted call records to show that they had stayed in contact and spent hours talking on the phone
And the police agreed that the evidence we submitted suggested that there was no realistic prospect of conviction.
The outcome of the case was recorded as No Further Action. Richard was never charged with Rape. He never had to go to court. But his record still shows that he was arrested for Rape. It will still show up on any background check. Seems rather unfair doesn’t it?
We are now working with Richard to try to get the arrest removed from his record.
If you are accused of an offence and want support from a team of experts dedicated to getting the right outcome for you then give Forrest Williams a call on 01623 397200 and we will be happy to help.