UK

Rochdale Woman Dies In Fall From Car Park Roof After Aquittal Of Man Accused Of Raping Her

03/02/2014 20:39 GMT | Updated 03/02/2014 20:59 GMT
ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this Wednesday, May 16, 2012 photo, pedestrians walk past town hall in Rochdale, England. The story of the abused Rochdale girls is tragic by any measure, but it has also become explosive. Because there is no getting around its racial subtext: The girls are white, and the men who used them for sex are Asian Muslims, mostly Pakistanis raised in Britain. Louis Kushnick, founder of the race relations resource center at the University of Manchester, said it has become convenient for white residents - including those beyond the far-right movement - to blame Muslims for the sex crimes. That view overlooks all the problems that left the girls vulnerable in the first place, he says, citing a deficient school system and a government-backed child care regime riddled with neglect and abuse. And he says the prolonged economic downturn has intensified resentments, with whites and Asians competing for the same "crap" jobs. "Blaming the Muslims lets us avoid addressing these questions,? he says. "Once we blame 'The Other,' we think we have an explanation that makes sense." (AP Photo/Jon Super)

A woman has died following a fall from the roof of a car park after a man accused of raping her was acquitted following a trial. Police were called to the Wheatsheaf car park on Penn Street, Rochdale, at about 10.10am today following reports of a woman on the roof, and she was later seen to fall.

The police watchdog has been notified after it emerged the woman had been in contact with Greater Manchester Police in the days before she died. Two specially trained officers who had been providing support to the woman after she made the complaint visited her at her home on Friday evening to tell her the verdict that had been passed earlier that day.

The woman appeared angry and upset at the news and was offered support by the officers, police said. Later that evening, the woman called police in a distressed state and officers returned to her home along with ambulance staff. She was calmer when the officers attended, and they again gave her advice and made a further referral to partner agencies helping to give her support.

The woman was taken to hospital after the fall but died as a result of her injuries. Greater Manchester Police have referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and a full investigation will be launched to establish the circumstances surrounding her death. Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley said: "I would firstly like to offer my condolences to the family of the woman who has sadly died.

Our thoughts are with the family at what is clearly a traumatic time for them and we will be offering them as much support and welfare as they need over the coming days and weeks. "The woman had been a complainant in a case that recently concluded at court, and throughout that process specially trained officers from Greater Manchester Police had been providing her with regular support and advice.

"This is a terribly sad end to what has been a long and difficult case.

"A full investigation will be carried out to establish the circumstances leading up to this woman's death and it is important, especially for the woman's family, that we do not speculate about what may have happened until all the facts are known."