Cleared by a court,
but the 'rapist' slur lingers long after

By Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent The Independent
12 January 2001

Nicholas Buoy may have been cleared of rape but when he stood on the court steps last year there were none of the usual celebrations.

Instead, Mr Buoy, a Cambridge University rugby blue and former Millfield pupil, spoke of being tainted by the false accusation made against him. "I realise, as should everyone, that there are no winners in a case such as this," he said. "My future has been blighted by this case."

Although he was acquitted, Mr Buoy, 24, knows that the slur of being branded an alleged rapist will linger longer in the memory than the actual verdict. In the months to come, there will be those who still point the finger.

Nicholas Buoy had to endure a 12-month wait before the trial, while the shadow of the charge hung over him. In court, his name and private life was dragged through the mud, but the jury found him not guilty of rape and indecent assault after hearing the evidence amounted to his own drink-befuddled memories of the night in question and the contrasting, but similarly affected recollections of his accuser.

The court was told that Mr Buoy and his alleged victim had drunk large quantities of alcohol at a party organised by graduates from Homerton College, Cambridge. The woman claimed that she went to a bedroom to lie down where another person, whom she identified as Mr Buoy, collapsed beside her in a stupor. She said it was there that she was raped.In reply to the allegations Mr Buoy said the last he could remember was going upstairs to the lavatory, going into a bedroom and talking to some people. "I have no recollection of what went on after that," he said.

A newly qualified PE teacher, Mr Buoy should be looking forward to the beginning of his career. Instead, he faces a battle to rebuild his reputation.

In contrast, his accuser, a teacher, 28, from West Sussex, can move on with her life, her privacy and standing intact.

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This Page was added on 3rd February, 2001