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Girl, 16, 'Hanged Herself After Sex Attacker's Trial Collapsed'

08/02/2012 14:39 | Updated 22 May 2015
Dana BakerNewsteam
A teenage sex abuse victim killed herself after a barrister's mistake caused her attacker's rape trial to collapse.

Dana Baker, then 16, hanged herself near a busy roundabout in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, in March last year.

She had made a final cry for help on Facebook hours before she died, writing: "Lying here, trying to figure out what I'm gonna do."

Her death happened less than a year after prosecutor David Jones breached strict legal rules on witness contact by meeting Dana Baker at his home, which resulted in the judge discharging the jury at the trial of her attacker.

Dana had been abused by her karate teacher Jaspal Riat, 48, between the ages of 13 and 14.

Six months after Dana died, Riat, from Birmingham, was jailed for eight years in September 2011 at Gloucester Crown Court after jurors heard how he had tied up and had sex with Dana.

He was cleared of rape but was convicted of sexual assault and seven counts of sexual activity with a child.

Riat first went to trial at Birmingham Crown Court in summer 2010.

A jury was sworn in on August 2 and prosecutor Mr Jones - a barrister for 40 years - opened the case on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service.

But the next day Judge Philip Parker QC discharged the jury after hearing about the meeting with Dana, then 15, in July 2010.

Mr Jones later resigned as a barrister and a second trial was ordered. The new jury were unaware of the original trial. He had said he had wanted to discuss with Dana if she would give evidence via a TV link, or live in court behind a screen.

Riat, from Birmingham, was eventually jailed for eight years in September 2011 using crucial videotape evidence from Dana.

An inquest into Dana's death will be resumed held later this month.

Mr Jones was unavailable for comment.

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