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Review: No Bad Women: Rape on Trial, at Clean Break

Tense courtroom drama tells the story of a landmark rape trial

07 November, 2019 — By Clair Chapwell

The cast of No Bad Women: Rape on Trial. Photo: Lisa Longstaff

THE lights dim and we are asked to rise for the entrance of the judge who sweeps to his chair in his flowing robes.

Writer/director Lesley Delmenico has created a tight, tense courtroom drama, the end of a landmark rape trial where two sex workers brought their rapist to trial in a private prosecution in 1995 having been failed by the state.

Produced by Lisa Longstaff, co-ordinator of Women Against Rape based in Kentish Town, No Bad Women tells of two women, one a redundant teacher in a time of high unemployment ends up working in McDonald’s for £4.50 an hour or giving massages and hand jobs for £50. The other woman earns money to pay for an electric wheelchair for her husband.

The defending barrister smirks and humiliates the women as the rapist sits motionless save for two flashbacks where he grabs the women and violently assaults them.

There is a longer story here (isn’t there always?). Having been turned down by the Crown Prosecution Service the women were told they had “insufficient evidence to proceed”.

They approached Women Against Rape and the English Collective of Prostitutes, both based in Crossroads Women’s Centre in Kentish Town who provided emotional and financial support for three years to get this case to court.

The story of the Birmingham Six became a film, highlighting injustice. Why not this story?

Until November 14 at Clean Break, 2 Patshull Road, Kentish Town, NW5 2LB. For details visit


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