R v Taran (Farid)
Court of Appeal
Citations:  EWCA Crim 1498.
The appellant picked up the complainant (a stranger) after a night out, offering to take her home. She alleged that he then drove the wrong way and forced her at gun point to have sex with him. The appellant alleged that the complainant had asked him to drive away from her home, had been flirting with him and voluntarily initiated sex. A toy gun was found in his car.
The appellant was convicted of rape, and appealed his conviction on the basis that the judge did not explicitly direct the jury on the meaning of a ‘reasonable belief in consent‘.
- Did the judge misdirect the jury?
The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction. There was no need for a direction on reasonable belief in consent in this case. This was because if the complainant was believed, it would be impossible for the appellant to think she was consenting (reasonably or otherwise). Meanwhile, if the appellant was believed, there was no basis to conclude that the complainant did not consent. Either way, the reasonableness of the appellant’s beliefs were irrelevant.
This Case is Authority For…
A direction on reasonable belief in consent only needs to be given if there is material which might indicate to the jury that:
- The complainant did not consent; and
- The defendant thought she did consent.