23rd March, 2022

Matthew Curtis prosecuted Liverpool student for repeated rapes and sexual offences in Manchester and Liverpool

Charles Goodwin was a young man from Salford who met and then raped his first female victim on a night out in Manchester. He was arrested and initially released on bail. When he then started as a student himself in Liverpool, the defendant went on to rape and commit further sex offences against female students at university accommodation there.

Mr Curtis was instructed after his charge and first appearance in Manchester and when the proceedings were transferred to Liverpool. The defendant was then remanded in custody to trial.

Two of the complainants were to be cross-examined before trial. In the event, shortly before trial, the final two complainants were also cross-examined. Contested applications relating to their previous sexual history were argued in the context of expert medical opinion and other evidence and unused material.

The trial with over 18 witnesses, including one in the USA, proceeded according to timetable. The defendant gave evidence and was cross-examined over the course of two days.

The judge said to the defendant when sentencing him, "You struck me as a highly intelligent, cold, unempathetic and manipulative person who knew perfectly well what you were doing was wrong."

During the trial, Mr Curtis addressed difficult legal issues other than previous sexual history, which included ‘rape myths’, consent to violence, and cross-admissibility.

The defendant was convicted of multiple counts of rape and attempting to choke the first female victim, rape of a second victim and sexual assault of a third.

Having found Charles Goodwin to be "dangerous" and sentencing him to a 20-year extended sentence (made up of 17 years' imprisonment and 3 years' extended licence), the judge said to him, "You had no care whatsoever as to whether or not they were consenting. You treated each of them not as a human being, deserving respect, but as a plaything or toy. Once they were within your control you could do to them as you pleased."


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