A teenager spent almost three months in prison after police failed to disclose damning texts sent by his alleged rape victim that could have freed him.
Connor Fitzgerald, 19, from south London, also lost his job after the woman accused him of assaulting her.
But the charges against the teen were thrown out when prosecutors found the messages sent by the woman where she bragged that she wanted to ‘ruin’ his life.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wrote in one of the messages: ‘I’m not just going to mess his life up, I’m going to ruin it lol.’
Connor, who lost his job as a BT engineer because of the allegation, said his ordeal has been ‘heart-breaking’ and that he is scared to leave the house.
He told The Sun: ‘My life has been ruined…everyone thinks I’m a rapist’.
The collapsed case follows from that of Liam Allan, 22, whose rape trial collapsed last month when police discovered messages that cleared him.
Connor’s family now want to know how he was put in the same position.
The woman had claimed he raped her and videod it after a night out on June 24 last year.
A few months later, on November 1, cops arrested Connor at his home in front of his mum and his sister.
He was then denied bail and was held in Category B HMP High Down in Banstead, Surrey, from November 6 until January 22. It was only when Connor’s brother found the crucial texts on Connor’s iCloud account that the family asked if all the messages had been disclosed.
But it still took until just last week Connor’s case was thrown out at Croydon Crown Court, which was the case court where Liam Allen’s case was heard.
Connor now plans to sue the police and CPS, telling the paper: ‘I honestly think that if my brother hadn’t found those texts and made the CPS aware, I would have ended up in prison for 12 years or more.
A spokesperson for the CPS said: ‘This case was charged in accordance with the Threshold Test, which is applied in serious cases where further evidence is expected to become available within a reasonable period. ‘
A decision to charge under the Threshold Test must be kept under review, and prosecutors are required to take account of any change in circumstances as a case develops.
‘In January 2018, police provided more material in this case. Upon review of that material, it was decided that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. ‘
We therefore decided to offer no evidence at a hearing at Croydon Crown Court on 22 January.
‘In this case disclosure was dealt with on an ongoing basis and where appropriate, relevant disclosures made.’