Talented Josie Jolley, 25, was reportedly told jurors would never believe her story because she’d held hands with her alleged attacker, it was heard.
Josie Jolley died after she was told the CPS wouldn’t prosecute her rape claim – as she’d been pictured on CCTV holding hands with her alleged attacker.
The graduate was found dead at her Brighton home after taking a fatal overdose of her mother’s medication.
Her mum, Jacqueline, was in hospital on the night of Ms Jolley’s death – but grew gradually more worried when she couldn’t get hold of her daughter.
Eventually, two friends went to the house, and found the tragic young woman unresponsive in bed.
This week, an inquest at Brighton Coroner’s Court heard Ms Jolley had made an allegation of rape in December 2019, the Brighton Argus reports.
Sussex Police referred the case to their colleagues in the Met – and London officers decided it should be passed onto the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
However, prosecutors then decided the case could not be taken to court.
Detective Inspector James Meanwell of Sussex Police told the inquest CCTV footage from the evening showed Ms Jolley holding hands with her alleged rapist, which would “undermine” a prosecution case.
He said: “Often it’s one person’s word against another’s. The burden of proof is quite high in criminal court and that’s where the issue is. “Josie was interviewed on January 14 last year.
In this case, she was saying it was non-consensual and the suspect was saying it was consensual. They had met for the first time that evening.
“There was CCTV footage from the location, but no footage from the actual area of the offence.
“There was CCTV footage of them holding hands, which would be undermining for a prosecution to take place.”
Ms Jolley, who had studied in the geography department at the University of Sussex, had previously been in a relationship with one of her PhD supervisors.
This had ended in July 2019, the court heard. One of Ms Jolley’s oldest friends, Ruby, told the inquest:
“The break-up was something she had processed. The attack happened and I don’t think it was something she could get over.
“But I do feel she was someone who could take negative things and apply them to life in a positive way. She was incredibly strong and outgoing.”
Josie was one of the most remarkable young women… it’s the worse for humanity that she’s not here now
Mental health services were aware of Ms Jolley, and she had told the university she was feeling suicidal, it was heard.
However, she didn’t want to engage with counsellors or take anti-depressants, the coroner was told.
She made an initial suicide attempt on August 11 2020. The coroner said Ms Jolley had found “events in her life” to be “extremely traumatic”.
However, as both her break-up and the alleged rape took place months before her death, she said: “I don’t consider it to be directly causative but I do think there was a lot going on and I think Josie was a worrier