Family’s relief as rape charge dropped by police

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The father of a man who was accused of rape has spoken of the family’s relief after the charges were dropped by Sussex Police.

Oliver Harwood, of Burgess Hill, was charged and appeared in court after an incident in Churchill Square, Brighton, in February.

Sussex Police said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has advised that there is insufficient evidence to secure a realistic prospect of conviction and have discontinued the trial. The man has been released with no further action.”

His father, Graham, said Oliver and his family had been through “tremendous” stress.

He said: “Oliver has lost three months of his life for a crime he didn’t commit.

“We believed all the way through he was innocent.”

Graham said Oliver had not been able to work and has had to move away from Sussex due to his bail conditions. He is now living in accommodation in London which the family has had to fund.

“He has been suffering with depression as a result and he does not want to come back to Sussex as he thinks everyone thinks badly of him.

“We have had this big cloud over our heads and we are just relieved really.”

Graham added he was unhappy with the way Sussex Police handled the case.

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