News and Views
Loyal wife who turned detective to clear the man she was divorcing of rape
Alison Gray never doubted her estranged husband’s innocence. Even though they were on course for divorce when Trevor was charged with rape, she remained convinced the allegation was false.
‘I was shocked when I heard; floored, flabbergasted,’ she says. ‘I texted Trevor and said: “For what it’s worth, I don’t believe it.” I knew Trevor was a man who does the right thing. He helps people. I never doubted his integrity. I knew he wasn’t capable of rape.’
The case went to court and Trevor, a detective police sergeant with an exemplary record, was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison.
But Alison’s faith in her husband of 24 years did not waver. ‘I attended every day of the trial, and when they sent Trevor down I thought, “He has to know I’ll support him,”’ she says.
‘Our two daughters did too. I sent a note via his barrister saying, “Stay strong. We’re here for you.” I said I loved him, because I did. Despite our differences, we’d never actually stopped loving each other.’
Alison’s faith has been proved to be justified. Trevor, 49, was released from prison on bail in July last year — after serving 13 months of his sentence — when three Appeal Court judges quashed his conviction. And two weeks ago he was completely exonerated when a crown court jury unanimously cleared him of rape, attempted rape and sexual touching.
But he would never have regained his freedom were it not for his wife’s extraordinary detective work.
For when Trevor was falsely imprisoned, Alison, 48, turned sleuth and traced a vital witness, whose evidence proved crucial in overturning his conviction.
And as Alison pieced together the truth and visited Trevor in prison, she realised she didn’t want to divorce him. Their decree nisi was rescinded, and they reunited ten months ago.
The couple sit side by side, their hands often clasped, as they tell their extraordinary story for the first time.
They met in 1987, in a bar in Nottingham when Trevor was a police recruit. Alison was attracted to his humour and level-headedness. ‘Above all, he was someone you’d like to have around in a crisis,’ she says.
They got married in 1990, and daughter Laurie, now 22, was born the following year. Natalie, 21, arrived a year later. Alison and Trevor were happy but busy. She was a full-time food-safety manager and he was absorbed in his career. Then in 2010, Alison suffered a relapse of the breast cancer she’d had six years earlier.
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