Family crowdfund legal aid after son's suicide during rape investigation

Family crowdfund legal aid after son's suicide during rape investigation

Mark Hunton committed suicide after a nine-month investigation into a rape allegation

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The family of a young man, who committed suicide after being investigated over allegations of rape, are crowdfunding to raise funds for legal aid. 

The family claim the allegations against Mark Hunton were false and are seeking to raise £25,000 to fund legal representation at his inquest. 

The 23-year-old took his own life after a nine-month investigation into allegations of rape by his ex-girlfriend.

His family claim the accusation was "baseless". 

Mr Hunton died shortly after being told the investigation could take another six to eight months and his family say detectives were aware that he was at a high risk of self-harm or suicide.

The Hunton family said that they hoped their campaign will bring about a "change in procedures", which will protect the lives of other young men who are "falsely accused of rape".

On a crowdfunding page, they wrote: "They knew that he was at risk of self-harm and suicide; their groundless 'investigation' only heightened that risk.

"Despite our best efforts to look after him, Mark’s mental health deteriorated and collapsed under the strain.

“Now stonewalled by the police, we believe that only the above legal action can make them change their procedures so as to protect the lives of other young men who will be falsely accused of rape in future."

Barristers from Doughty Street Chambers, who are specialists in human rights claims, have agreed to represent the family.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said it was unable to comment on the allegations.

The fundraising campaign has received £4,350 from 69 donors since it was set up 24 days ago.

Read more

£20k reward offered for information on double rape suspect

Rape complainants told to hand over mobile phones