Collapsed trial woman says she gave birth 'alone' in prison

Media caption,
Petruta-Cristina Bosoanca speaks about having to give birth in prison

A woman held in custody for more than 13 months before her trial collapsed has told the BBC she hopes someone will be punished for the failures which led to her giving birth in prison.

The trial of Petruta-Cristina Bosoanca - held on trafficking and prostitution charges - was stopped after evidence cast doubt on the complainant's story.

"Nobody is going to give me this 13 months back," said Ms Bosoanca.

Judge Gregory Perrins said there had been "wholesale failures".

'Waiting for the truth'

Ms Bosoanca, 25, was arrested in December 2016 and was released from HMP Bronzefield on Monday.

She said it was "very difficult" giving birth five months ago to her baby boy, Christian.

"There was no-one with me," she said. "In the moments when I was supposed to be happy, I was happy but unhappy at the same time."

The trial of Adrian Iordan, Anisoara Lautaru and Ms Bosoanca was stopped on its 17th day, after the complainant in the case had been cross-examined.

Some 65,000 lines of text messages were disclosed to the defence on day two.

Ms Bosoanca said she repeatedly insisted she was not guilty and that she "needed to show" it.

"I knew it, at the beginning I asked for my phone, I asked for the pictures, CCTV, I asked for everything but they (didn't) care," she said.

Ms Bosoanca's question now is: "Why they don't discover everything earlier? I was waiting for them to see the truth."

"They were incompetent all of them," she added. "They kept me far away from my family, from my son."

A senior prosecutor apologised to the court and said the CPS's handling of the case had "fallen below standard".

The defendants were accused of conspiring to traffic a young woman to the UK from Romania for the purpose of prostitution.

The complainant claimed she had been trafficked and forced into prostitution by the three defendants and had become pregnant after being raped in the UK.

It later emerged the woman was already pregnant when she entered the country in 2016, when she was examined three days after the arrest of Ms Bosoanca.

At London's Wood Green Crown Court, Judge Perrins said the defence had requested medical evidence about the pregnancy as long ago as August 2017 and had been repeatedly told that no such medical evidence existed.

This repeated failure to properly disclose the police doctor's report was, said the judge, "one of the more serious failings identified in this case and requires further explanation".

Facebook messages also showed that the complainant had been discussing the pregnancy and the identity of the father of her child with friends.

The BBC understands that relevant social media material was known to the police from January 2017 but was not disclosed until December 2017.

Defence lawyers working through the disclosed evidence said it would have taken four days' solid work to find evidence that undermined the prosecution case in the disclosed material.

Ms Lautaru was arrested in March 2017. The 19-year-old was remanded in custody for most of the time since then.

Following the collapse of the case on Friday, a CPS spokesman said: "We are concerned by the outcome of the case and the comments of the judge today.

"It is clear there have been failings in this case, and it is being reviewed by senior CPS lawyers as a matter of urgency."

The CPS had previously said it would review the case and the judge said he would refer the case to the director of public prosecutions.