“An Oxford University student has become the latest accused rapist to have his case dropped against him after two years on bail amid wider public concern about the actions of police and prosecutors. Oliver Mears, 19, was told he was to be found not guilty following a review of evidence just days before he was due to go on trial. The Crown Prosecution Service said it decided to offer no evidence against Mr Mears after reviewing evidence handed to them by Surrey Police, some of which was only received last week. A police spokeswoman told the Times prosecutors decided to discontinue the trial “for a number of reasons”. It comes at a time where the Metropolitan Police has ordered a review of all its investigations into rape and serious sexual assault following the collapsed trials of Liam Allan, 22, and Isaac Itiary, 25. A third case against Samson Makele, 28, was also halted at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday after his defence team unearthed key images from his mobile phone which had not previously been made available, law firm Hodge Jones and Allen said. Chemistry student Mr Mears, of Horley, Surrey, was arrested weeks after his 17th birthday and accused of raping and indecently assaulting a woman in July 2015. He was charged last June. He reportedly left St Hugh’s College because of stress.
His lawyers complained of a failure to disclose evidence, including social media material, which they believed may have proved his innocence. His trial was due to start on Monday at Guildford Crown Court, but his hearing was brought forward to Thursday morning. Lawyers asked for the case to be dropped hours after Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, raised eyebrows when she said photographs and social media accounts do not necessarily need to be fully checked in rape cases. She insisted she does not believe anyone is in jail after being wrongly convicted because of failures to disclose evidence. She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The police obligation is to pursue all reasonable lines of enquiry. That doesn’t mean going into every single avenue of your life.” Ms Saunders met senior police officers and barristers on Thursday to discuss concerns that vital material is not being disclosed.”