The consequences of mistaken identification can be disastrous, and the people affected by this error is larger than one might initially think. In this case, an innocent man of course spent over a decade of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit, the implications of which do not even need to be stated. The victim must then live with the knowledge that, firstly, she is in a way responsible for the incarceration of this innocent man and, secondly, her actual attacker has been on the loose! Not to mention the effects on the family of both the victim and the wrongly accused. The range of those affected can then extend to anyone who has since been the victim of the actual criminal. In this case Poole went on to rape a series of women, crimes which perhaps may not have occurred had Cotton not been wrongfully charged, forcing police to continue their investigation.