Carmichael, played by Emily Watson was cleared of murder and manslaughter
The lawyer, who blogs anonymously, said the portrayal of the trial in the show was “dangerously misleading and inaccurate” and “massively unhelpful for everyone involved in the criminal justice system”.
The four-part series concluded last week with rape victim Yvonne Carmichael, played by Emily Watson, convicted of perjury after her lover Mark Costley, played by Ben Chaplin, killed the rapist.
Carmichael was cleared of murder and manslaughter while Costley was convicted of manslaughter. But the trial caused controversy last week, with viewers shocked at the treatment of rape victim Carmichael in the witness stand.
I don’t need to tell anyone reading this how dangerous a slippery slope that would plunge fair trials on to
In distressing scenes she broke down in tears under pressure from the prosecuting lawyer, leading her to say: “This is why I didn’t want to bring this to court in the first place”.
This struck a nerve with the show’s fans with many taking to social media to discuss the treatment of witnesses in real trials of sexual crimes.
However, in the popular blog My Mid Life Crisis the barrister, who has worked on rape trials, said the drama would have had “criminal practitioners plucking their wigs to pieces and stamping on them in frustration”.
The criminal trial expert accused the BBC and writer Louise Doughty of “feeding into the current media hysteria about, in particular, trials involving sexual allegations”.
The trial caused controversy last weak
The lawyer said that inaccurate portrayals of the justice system were leading to ill-informed proposals by “special interest groups, most if not all of whom appear to take the view that complainants in sex cases should automatically be believed because they are complainants in sex cases”.
The show suggested that in Carmichael’s case “the victim was treated as though they had committed a crime”.
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The lawyer wrote: “In my experience those cases are increasingly conducted as if the complainant has to automatically be believed and the presumption of innocence has been abolished.
Mark, played by Ben Chaplin, was convicted of manslaughter
And I conduct rape trials on an almost weekly basis. “Had the writer(s) observed such a trial in the recent past?
“In fact, the real point here was that Yvonne was not the complainant in a sex case, but the defendant in a murder case.
“Before you know it, we will be in a position where cross-examination of such complainants is completely prohibited, presumably because it might upset them.
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Viewers were shocked at the treatment of rape victim Carmichael in the witness stand
“I wonder how long it will be before no one is allowed to cross examine any complainant in any case, in case it hurts their feelings. You really wouldn’t give it credence.
“I don’t need to tell anyone reading this how dangerous a slippery slope that would plunge fair trials on to.”
The blogger also lists a string of charges against the drama’s writer, not least that Carmichael is on bail despite being on a murder charge.