The mother of a woman who fell to her death from a balcony has lost a High Court challenge against a decision not to prosecute her daughter’s boyfriend.
Jourdain John-Baptiste was 22 when she fell from her fourth-floor flat in Enfield, north London, in August 2015.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) brought no charges against her boyfriend, which lawyers for her family claimed was “irrational”.
But Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett said the CPS decision was “reasonable”.
After the hearing, her mother Tracey John-Baptiste said: “We have lost my beautiful daughter and now we have lost the chance to get justice.
“Even those against prosecuting in the CPS recognise this is a finely-balanced decision.
“Why not put this to the jury who can hear all the witnesses and decide?”
The boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was in the flat with Ms John-Baptiste at the time of the fall and last year her mother told the BBC witnesses said they heard the couple arguing.
Mrs John-Baptiste asked for the CPS decision not to prosecute to be reviewed and was told initially there ought to be a prosecution, which a senior prosecutor revised.
At an earlier hearing in London, the family’s barrister Karon Monaghan QC said there was “ample evidence” to support a prosecution, and there was a “threatening” text message on Ms John-Baptiste’s phone from her boyfriend saying: “When I see u again I’ll drop you.”
Ms Monaghan said the prosecutor who made the final decision based it on an “unevidenced and gendered assumption” that Ms John-Baptiste may have slipped in a state of “high emotion”.
But judges, who were asked to quash the decision, said it was “impossible” to conclude the decision was “wrong in law”.
Lord Burnett said a jury would be invited to say “the only realistic explanation for Ms John-Baptiste’s fall was that she was fleeing from a threat of violence”, which he said all involved accepted “was one possible explanation”.
“But the question for the decision-makers was whether it was more likely than not that a jury would reach that conclusion at the end of a criminal trial,” he added.
A CPS spokesman said: “We understand how difficult this has been for the family. We considered all the information given to us by the police investigation.
“We can only prosecute an offence when there is sufficient evidence to do so.
“The original decision has now been tested by a Victim’s Right to Review scheme (VRR) and now by a High Court hearing.”
A man arrested over the abduction and rape of three women in and around London is being investigated for other attacks involving nine further victims.
Joseph McCann, 34, was arrested in Congleton, Cheshire, after two girls, aged 14, were abducted in the town.
He is being investigated over attacks in Cheshire, Manchester and Lancashire, on victims aged between 11 and 71.
Det Ch Insp Katherine Goodwin, of the Metropolitan Police, said the attacks were “grotesque and horrifying”.
The officer urged other victims to come forward and said police wanted to hear from anyone who had been approached by Mr McCann or in contact with him between February and May.
Mr McCann was found in a tree in Smithy Lane on Sunday evening and arrested after a stand-off with police negotiators.
He had been spotted in the town after two girls were forced into a car that afternoon.
Met detectives are now investigating him in connection with a number of other attacks earlier that day.
These include the false imprisonment of a woman in Haslingden, Lancashire, in which a teenage girl and a boy, 11, were raped and the abduction and rape of a 71-year-old in Bury, Manchester.
The suspect is also being investigated over the abduction of two 13-year-old boys and the abduction and sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in Heywood, Manchester, at about 15:30 BST on Sunday.
Det Ch Insp Goodwin said the attacks were believed to have taken place between 21 April and 5 May.
“Detectives from the Met continue to lead on this investigation and are working very closely with policing counterparts where he is suspected to have carried out further offences,” she said.
Mr McCann was also wanted for questioning over the abduction and rape of a 21-year-old woman at knifepoint in Watford, Hertfordshire, in the early hours of 21 April.
The Met Police launched an appeal to find Mr McCann after two women in their 20s were snatched off streets in London and raped in a car in London on 25 April.
AFC Wimbledon guaranteed another season of League One football after a goalless draw at bottom side Bradford City.
Bradford’s Kelvin Mellor and Anthony O’Connor had the best chances of a quiet first half as Dons keeper Aaron Ramsdale made some smart saves.
Wimbledon came to life after the break as Joe Pigott had an effort cleared off the line and Mitch Pinnock shot wide from the edge of the box.
The Dons’ run of just one loss in their final 12 games ensured a fourth successive season in the third tier as they avoided relegation by virtue of goal difference from Plymouth Argyle.
It is a remarkable escape for the club who were 10 points from safety fewer than three months ago – but just two defeats in that time saw them climb the table and move out of the bottom four last week after a 2-1 win over Wycombe.
Meanwhile, Bradford’s disastrous season came to an end having gone through three managers and won just 11 of their 46 matches to conclude the campaign nine points from safety.
A boy who flicked a piece of cheese at a teenager with a dairy allergy who later died did not mean to harm him, an inquest has heard.
Karanbir Cheema, 13, who also had other allergies and asthma, suffered from a severe reaction at his school in west London on 28 June 2017.
He was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition and died two weeks later.
An inquest into Karanbir’s death heard a piece of cheese landed on his neck.
A boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Poplar Coroner’s Court he did not know why he threw the cheese, describing it as “immature behaviour.”
The court heard he was given it by a friend during break time at William Perkin Church of England High School in Ealing.
He then threw the piece of cheese at Karanbir – but said he was not specifically his target.
“After that he just said ‘I am allergic to cheese’,” the boy said.
“I apologised and went to class after.”
The boy admitted he did not know how serious allergies could be and thought they could simply cause a rash or fever.
“I didn’t mean to hurt him and obviously I feel bad now”, the boy said.
In a statement, Karanbir’s mother Rina said her son was “extremely diligent” at managing his allergies.
Informed that cheese had been put down his neck, she said a consultant at the hospital questioned this because contact through the skin would not cause such a bad reaction.
Giving evidence, Rajvnder Saini who worked at the school, said an Epipen kept in the school for Karanbir had expired in July 2016.
An email was sent to the boy’s mother in February 2017 to inform her, the court heard.
The inquest continues.
Detectives investigating the abduction and rape of two women in linked attacks have released an image of a suspect.
The first victim was taken in Chingford, north London, at about 00:30 BST on Thursday, while the second was targeted 12 hours later in Edgware.
Both women, in their 20s, escaped following a struggle in Osborne Road, Watford, at about 14:30.
A man, 33, has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rape. The hunt for the rapist continues.
The Met Police has released images of a suspect attempting to book a hotel room in the Watford area at about 13:00 on Thursday. When one was unavailable, he left the premises.
The suspect is described as white, of muscular build, aged in his late 20s or early 30s, with a bald head or shaved blond hair and a light-coloured short beard.
He is described as having a distinctive tattoo of the word “bobbie” on his stomach.
He was believed to have been driving a silver or grey-coloured Ford S-Max people carrier, with false registration plates.
Det Ch Insp Katherine Goodwin urged the public to come forward and report any unfamiliar parked cars matching its description.
She warned people not to approach the suspect and to call 999.
“Our investigation into these appalling crimes is making good process but we urgently need the help of the public to identify and trace this man.
“It is vitally important we catch this man, and while stranger attacks of this nature are thankfully rare, we would urge people to remain vigilant.”
Kenya’s half marathon world record holder Abraham Kiptum has been suspended from competition following an athlete biological passport violation.
The 29-year-old had been due to compete in Sunday’s London Marathon.
Kiptum completed the Valencia half marathon in 58 minutes 18 seconds in October, five seconds quicker than the record set by Zersenay Tadese in 2010.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy on doping,” said London Marathon event director Hugh Brasher.
“We recently announced a groundbreaking extensive intelligence-driven testing programme. This shows the programme is working. Cheats will be caught and there is no place for them in marathon running.”
London Marathon organisers say Kiptum has left the city following the suspension issued by the Athlete Integrity Unit.
The athlete biological passport programme collects and compares biological data to spot discrepancies over time that suggest possible doping.
The build-up to this year’s marathon has already been overshadowed by a dispute between distance running greats Sir Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie, following an altercation surrounding an alleged theft at Gebrselassie’s hotel in Ethiopia.
A 21-year-old man has been stabbed to death on a high street in north-west London.
The victim is thought to have been attacked by a group of men before seeking help at a betting shop in Harlesden High Street at about 21:00 BST on Tuesday, police said.
He was taken to hospital but died at 02:47 on Wednesday. His next-of-kin have been informed.
Seven men have been arrested in connection with the attack.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said the men remained in custody, but could not confirm what offences they were being held on suspicion of.
A post-mortem examination will be held later.
There have been three other stab attacks in London since Tuesday afternoon.
The victims are a 17-year-old boy in Merton, a man in West Drayton and a 28-year-old in Wembley, who is in a critical condition.