King's acts with justice

July 10, 1998

My attention has just been drawn to a report in The THES ("Don't shut out police, report says", June 12) in which Phil Baty claims that, at King's College, London in 1994, "an internal inquiry that was later dismissed as a 'kangaroo court' found an undergraduate guilty of raping a fellow student", and that the accused student was later acquitted in the High Court.

This has no basis in fact. As the report prepared later by Judge Marcus Edwards has shown, the college's disciplinary committee had held only a preliminary hearing, at which no judgment as to anyone's guilt or innocence had been made, before Austin Donnellan asked us to refer the matter to the police: an action that the college had been urging the complainant to take from the outset.

Judge Edwards found that the college had acted throughout on the presumption that Mr Donnellan was innocent of the charge until proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

The judge had access to all of the material concerning the case and was able to interview all of those involved. This provided a fuller picture than that available to the media from allegations in the Crown (not High) Court.

A. M. Lucas Principal King's College, London

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