Delayed rape trial is scrapped

A rape trial which was postponed after an article about the defendant appeared in a national Sunday newspaper the day before the case was due to begin, has been put on hold again.

Peter Voisey, 35, of Blyth, Northumberland, was jailed last year after being convicted of snatching a little girl from her bath on Tyneside then sexually assaulting her and dumping her in a freezing lane.

Voisey was due to go on trial at Doncaster Crown Court on 16 April under his other name, Peter Smith, on an unrelated rape charge when an article featuring him appeared in The People newspaper. Journalists were unaware that Peter Voisey and Peter Smith were the same person.

The story alleged that Voisey was part of a paeodophile ring, which included other well-known offenders in top-security Wakefield prison.

The day after the article was published Voisey appeared at Doncaster Crown Court for the first day of a trial on a rape charge – and was told the trial was not going ahead at that stage.

Robert Woodcock, prosecuting, said: ‘The publication of that article at this time has such a prejudicial potential to the fairness of these proceedings continuing today and that the listing must therefore be vacated for that reason.”

Judge Jackie Davies agreed to the application and relisted the trial for this week. However, the judge stayed the proceedings after hearing arguments that Voisey could not get a fair trial for reasons unrelated to the article which had appeared in The People.

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