Ben Sullivan investigation could be reopened, says CPS

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The police investigation into former Oxford Union President Ben Sullivan could be reopened, after one of the alleged victims has requested a Victims’ Right to Review.

Sullivan was arrested last May on suspicion of rape and attempted rape, but was later released without charge.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that a request has been made and is “being considered”.

According to a report in The Sunday Mirror, the alleged victim claims that the original police investigation was “flawed” and that some potential witnesses were “intimidated”.

A former member of the investigation team told The Mirror: “The view of many of those working on the case at the time was that was it was not thoroughly investigated.

“Some officers already had fixed opinions before we had the full facts.”

Thames Valley Police stated that the unnamed officer quoted in The Mirror “was not speaking on behalf of the Force”.

The officer’s comments have since been referred to the force’s Professional Standards Department for review.

A CPS spokeswoman told The Oxford Student: “A request has been made through the CPS Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) scheme for a review of no further decision in this case. The VRR scheme gives victims the right to request a review of a CPS decision not to prosecute or to terminate criminal proceedings.”

If the request is approved, Thames Valley Police may reopen the criminal investigation into Sullivan, who was released without charge around six weeks after his arrest.

The Crown Prosecution Service’s guidelines for review give a limit of three months for a VRR request from the confirmation of a decision not to prosecute, with any extension beyond this period only permitted “in exceptional circumstances”.

Sullivan’s arrest last May attracted national publicity, with a string of speakers cancelling appearances at the Union.

Sullivan later stated that those accused of rape should have anonymity until initial police investigations have been conducted, with the Christ Church History and Politics student appearing on Newsnight alongside then-OUSU VP for Women Sarah Pine.

Ben Sullivan was unavailable for comment.

Update: the original decision not to prosecute was upheld and the case will not be reopened. The case has therefore concluded.