Farah Jama, wrongly convicted of rape, walks free after prosecutors admit there may not have even been a crime
Farah Jama was just 20 when he was accused of raping a woman found unconscious in a locked toilet cubicle in 2006.
He was acquitted today after prosecutors admitted there might not have even been a crime.
A man who had no prior convictions, Mr Jama will seek compensation after spending 18 months locked up for a crime he didn’t commit.
Walking from court this morning with his father, Mr Jama said he was happy but had little faith in the justice system.
Mr Jama said while he was confident the truth would prevail, he was angered by his treatment.
“I know that the truth always will come out one day, everybody will see that I am innocent,” he told reporters.
He described what happened to him as “very, very bad”.
“I feel really depressed and cannot imagine it, what happened. I feel really angry and depressed.”
He said his parents supported him throughout his ordeal and he planned to celebrate tonight.
The woman, aged in her 40s, had no memory of the night but a DNA swab was taken and later matched to a sample taken from Mr Jama.
He said he was at home praying with his family that night and not at the Doncaster over-28s nightclub where the woman was found.
Today, the Court of Appeal was told it was likely that the sample taken from the woman had been contaminated.
The same forensic officer who conducted the tests on the alleged rape victim had done another unrelated test the day before that involved Mr Jama’s DNA.
No charges stemmed from the other test and it is unknown exactly how the contamination occurred.
The Court of Appeal was told it was possible the woman had not been raped at all.
She had never complained of sexual assault and could not recall the evening.
The court was told it was “improbable” that Mr Jama had even been at the nightclub.
Justices Marilyn Warren, Robert Redlich and Bernard Bongiorno overturned his conviction after the prosecution conceded contamination of the only evidence against him was likely.
His lawyer, Kimani Adil Boden, told heraldsun.com.au his client and his family had suffered greatly.
“His life has been put on hold,” Mr Boden said.
Mr Jama’s mother had begged him to help her son and after visiting him in prison, and Mr Boden was convinced he was not guilty.
“He assured me he was innocent. I then had to find a way to prove it,” he said.
After fighting to have DNA tests taken again it became clear there had been a mix-up at the lab.
Mr Jama was bailed last month pending further investigation and on Friday got the news that he would be acquitted.
Mr Boden hailed a “momentous” day for Mr Jama whose case he described as “tragic”.
“He’s been in custody for close to one-and-a-half years on charges he didn’t commit.
“Justice has finally been done, however, at a price.”
Mr Boden said Jama felt relieved at the decision.
“He always knew he was innocent. From his point of view, there was never any doubt,” he said.
“The mother and the rest of the family always knew that he was innocent, they always believed that and the only thing that he was convicted on was the DNA evidence.
“So he is relieved, definitely relieved, but he is definitely traumatised to some extent.”
- with AAP