The conviction of a strictly Orthodox man for the kidnap, rape and false imprisonment of his ex-wife has been quashed on appeal.

The man, who cannot be named, was serving a 14-year prison sentence after his conviction at Snaresbrook Crown Court last July.

But last week the Appeal Court ruled that there should be a retrial, expected to take place at Snaresbrook early next year.

The case made legal history as the first relating to rape to take place in a court without the presence of the complainant. The man’s ex-wife, who also cannot be named, had left the UK for Israel before the opening of the first trial, and actually withdrew her complaint against her ex-husband in a series of emails to the prosecution authorities.

But the CPS felt there was sufficient evidence to proceed with the trial without the victim. The Metropolitan Police’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command’s DI Neil Rawlinson said at the conclusion of the trial that the case marked “a momentous milestone for all victims of rape”.

The man’s defence barrister, Jonathan Goldberg QC, told the JN: “As in any other case a retrial means that a new judge will direct a new jury to approach the case with a completely new set of eyes”. The defence is due to make an application for the man to be freed on bail this week.