As an innocent man, if you’ve got to this point, then the police and CPS feel that they’ve seen enough evidence to secure a conviction against you with a more than evens chance. They also believe that it’s in the ‘public interest’ to put you on trial.
You may well feel as if the whole world is against you: a deeply unfair and cruel place. And if you are innocent, then you’re right on all counts there. Your name may well have been in the newspapers – certainly the local ones. Your family will know all about it. Your employers may well – that is if you’ve still got your job.
In criminal trials, juries in the UK will convict if the evidence they have seen is enough to convict you beyond reasonable doubt. In other words that all twelve members of the jury – or possibly a majority of them – feel that there is no significant reason to believe that you’re not guilty.
Prior to your trial, you might possibly find yourself placed on remand, although this is unlikely in historical cases. Whether or not you’re on remand, in the months leading up to your trial, you will find that you are caught in a process that will wear you down, as you are mangled like a piece of metal in the machinery of the state. You’re not meant to be there, and the true criminal is in the witness box, giving evidence against you.
If you’re convicted, then you will become the victim of a miscarriage of justice. Why should you show any contrition to earn years off your sentence, when the criminal that put you here is walking free? You probably feel as badly towards rape victims as any decent member of society would and yet if there is a conviction against you, you are then supposed to act like a rapist and feel ashamed of being one. You will be labelled as such in prison, and that can be a cruel place.