Landmark civil rape case ruling

a judge's gavel Photo credit 3D Judges Gavel by Chris Potter (2012) / / CC BY 2.0

Rape Crisis Scotland has welcomed a court’s decision to rule that two footballers have committed rape, despite them never facing a criminal trial.

Former Scotland international David Goodwillie and his ex-teammate David Robertson have been ruled to be rapists and ordered to pay £100,000 in damages to the woman they attacked in the the first civil rape case of its kind in Scotland.

Denise Claire, 30, took the action after being left devastated by the crown’s decision not to prosecute the two after she claimed they raped her at a flat in Armadale, in West Lothian, after a night out in Bathgate in January 2011.

Sandy Brindley, Rape Crisis Scotland Coordinator, said “This is a landmark case which broadens access to justice in Scotland. ..We think that we will see more and more rape complainers who feel let down by the criminal justice system turning to the civil system in their search for justice. … “We appreciate that the burden of proof is different in civil justice compared to criminal justice, but we do think there are questions for the Crown to answer about why they dropped this case, and their willingness to prosecute in cases where someone is so drunk they do not have the capacity to consent.  The law is clear – if someone is so drunk they can’t consent, it is rape, but these cases can be very difficult to obtain a prosecution in.”

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Photo credit 3D Judges Gavel by Chris Potter (2012) / / CC BY 2.0

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