“The Shocking Case of David Bryant” is the title of an article in this winter’s FACTion, our magazine. David Bryant was a fireman accused of raping a boy called Danny. He spent three years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Throughout his public shaming and imprisonment, his wife Lynn never lost faith in him and went to extraordinary lengths to get help to prove his innocence. She managed to enlist the support of a barrister, Rupert Butler, Peter Knox QC and Rachael Earle to work on the case for free. They managed to persuade private investigators to work on the case without payment. There was evidence that his accuser had sought medical help in relation to ‘being a chronic liar’. He had also claimed that his chance of being an Olympic boxer was lost because of the trauma of the alleged rape, yet there was no evidence that he had ever done any boxing at all. Eventually David Bryant was released after a third appeal.
Tragically, Lynn died only six months after he was freed from prison, and understandably David is convinced that the stress of the previous years had contributed to her final illness. It is our experience at FACT that many men survive the unimaginably horrible ordeal of a wrongful allegation of abuse because of the support of their wives and partners. If they are wrongly convicted and sentenced to prison their loved ones often have to travel half way across the country to visit them, yet they continue to stand by their men for year after year. They endure financial hardship and social stigmatisation and isolation. Lynn Bryant even had attacks on her house. Very few outside their immediate circle of family and friends will know the extraordinary committment and love of these women. Lynn was one of these brave women.
So I would like to thank those women who faithfully and courageously support the wrongly accused, when their world around seems to be falling apart. We mourn the tragic death of such a woman, Lynn Bryant.