Norwich boxer Herbie Hide cleared of rape
PUBLISHED: 08:12 21 July 2011
Former world heavyweight boxing champion Herbie Hide has walked free from court after being cleared of raping a woman in Norwich.
Mr Hide, 39, was yesterday formally found not guilty at Norwich Crown Court of raping the woman in November last year after the prosecution offered no evidence following a thorough review of the allegations. However, the ordeal has left Mr Hide feeling angry and he said he felt let down by the system which allowed the case to come to court.
Mr Hide, of Long Lane, Bawburgh, had to endure seven days in custody on the charges and it also cost him financially as, while he was electronically tagged while on bail, he was unable to go to Canada to take part in the International Boxing Federation cruiser weight final eliminator.
But he said the biggest impact has been on his wife Helen, and his four children, and he felt the allegation had harmed his reputation.
“I am a big heavyweight. I’m big and bold - it’s my kids I worry about,” said Mr Hide.
He said that after he got out of jail following his remand on the rape charge, he went to the school to pick up his two daughters and felt that some people looked at him in a different way, because of the allegation, but he felt better after the headmistress spoke to him and asked him how he was.
“People who know me well, know I could never harm a woman,” added Mr Hide.
He also coped with his time in jail and said: “While I was in jail I realised that there are people in jail that have not done anything, but the system has put them there.”
He felt bitter that he was named publically after being charged with rape while the woman who made the allegation remained anonymous. He said he thought the system which allows men accused of rape to be named was unfair.
He added he was now seeking further legal advice to see if he has any civil redress against the woman who made the allegation and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for bringing the case in the first place.
“I feel I have been victimised,” said Mr Hide.
He now wants to put the ordeal behind him and move on with his life, and is hoping to follow up a film offer in America to be in a film with Brad Pitt in which he plays the part of a slave.
While he was electronically tagged on bail, he was unable to go to America but now he is hoping to find out more about the film part which could see his career going in a new direction.
After the case was dropped, Mr Hide’s lawyer Dave Foulkes, a director of Belmores, said: “The allegation of rape was denied from the outset. The defence knew from day one that Herbie would ultimately be found not guilty. The police have conducted a thorough investigation for which we are grateful and, following further review, the CPS have reached the the inevitable conclusion that the case should not go to trial.”
At the hearing, Judge Peter Jacobs awarded a defendant’s costs order to Hide after formally entering a not guilty verdict to the rape charge and said that there was nothing more that could be done in the criminal court proceedings: “If Mr Hide has other concerns this is not the arena to air them in.”
The Crown Prosecution Service has defended its actions in bringing the rape case involving Mr Hide to court and said that it was only after new material came to light that a further detailed review was made and the decision was then taken to drop the charge.
The woman at the centre of the allegation was also kept fully informed of the developements in the case.
Andrew Baxter, deputy chief crown prosecutor for the east of England, said: “Following a detailed and further review of the evidence in this case, including new material which has become involved since the decision to charge was made, I decided there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction in this case.
“Prosecutors have a duty to continually review evidence in a case and, over recent weeks, there has been a careful analysis of the evidence which led to officers meeting with the complainant on July 19... After a full and careful analysis of all the evidence in this case, I concluded that there was insufficient evidence to proceed further with it.”