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Judge rules 2 footballers raped woman in civil case

(43 Posts)
PlectrumElectrum Tue 17-Jan-17 19:11:02

Guardian article here

The case was never prosecuted, apparently due to lack of evidence.

In terms of the evidence from the men concerned I think it's worth highlighting the judge's comments 'The judge said he did not find Goodwillie’s evidence to be persuasive and did not find Robertson credible or reliable' - in contrast with his view of the victim - “I find the evidence for the pursuer to be cogent, persuasive and compelling. In the result, therefore, I find that … both defenders took advantage of the pursuer when she was vulnerable'

Shocking that the victim had to resort to pursuing a civil case to see some form of justice (albeit neither man will serve time unless criminal charges now follow - not sure on the legal stance there) but thought it worth highlighting this.

PoochSmooch Tue 17-Jan-17 19:20:46

That poor woman. Enough evidence to convince a civil court and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, but not enough evidence to even charge one of them, and not enough to prosecute either of them? I know the standard of evidence is lower for civil than criminal courts, but still it's shocking that it didn't get to trial.

I'm glad she at least has the small comfort that she's been believed in a court, albeit not the one she should have been. She's been incredibly brave.

ChocChocPorridge Tue 17-Jan-17 20:59:31

This needs a fund and a charity - targeted to pursue civil cases. Unfortunately they'd be huge targets.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Tue 17-Jan-17 21:14:25

Denise Clair, 30, welcomed the ruling in a civil case at the court of sessions in Edinburgh

It's a minor point but if you are going to write an article about such an important case you might try getting the court's name correct. It's the Court of Session.

In theory it is competent for The Lord Advocate to review the decision not to prosecute. I have no idea if he would.

Xenophile Tue 17-Jan-17 21:52:09

Good.

I wonder what it might mean for other women in this position.

RJnomore1 Tue 17-Jan-17 21:54:33

She's an incredible woman. There's been little on mumsnet about this but I've been following the story for years. Goodwillie used to be a potential bit of a big deal in Scottish football.

Denise on the off chance you ever see this flowers to you and thank you for your courage.

PlectrumElectrum Tue 17-Jan-17 22:05:52

I agree RJ - knowing the background on this like you, and all the hurdles she's overcome to get this outcome i think she's been incredibly brave.

She should never have had to go to these lengths to get this outcome - I'm hoping that this case & outcome brings about some fundamental changes to how rape cases are dealt with in Scotland.

user1475253854 Tue 17-Jan-17 22:08:52

I hadn't heard about this until I saw it on the BBC today. Very courageous woman.

OneWithTheForce Tue 17-Jan-17 22:15:55

Wow! 6 years to even get a civil judgement! I am very glad the judge refused to allow the defender/ant? to question her himself. Appalling that it was deemed not enough evidence to prosecute these two rapists. (Can I call them rapists if it isn't a criminal case?)

TitaniasCloset Tue 17-Jan-17 23:09:11

What an amazing woman.

Beachcomber Wed 18-Jan-17 08:56:06

Well done Denise Clair.

And thank you. What you have done is incredibly brave. To give up anonymity and to pursue your case.

The 2009 Sexual Offences [Scotland] Act is incredibly important to women's right not to be raped and this case has proved that.

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Wed 18-Jan-17 09:42:52

It's being discussed on Matthew Wright now. Brave woman. Ridiculous she had to do this.sad

Usermuser Wed 18-Jan-17 09:50:06

I support a team that Goodwillie (ironic name, given the circumstances) played for. I was furious when we signed him with the rape thing hanging over him.
I'm really pleased for the woman. Seem to remember that he was claiming he didn't have enough money for legal representation and so there was a chance that he'd act for himself and be able to cross examine her. Which is fairly awful...

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 18-Jan-17 09:52:36

In criminal matters proof has to be beyond reasonable doubt and in the civil case it just is based on a balance of probabilities.

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Wed 18-Jan-17 10:26:14

user he did want to but the judge didn't allow it, thankfully.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Wed 18-Jan-17 10:44:02

What an amazing woman!

Xenophile Wed 18-Jan-17 11:11:09

<muses>

I wonder if it would be worth looking at a charity "fighting fund" for these cases? If the CPS refuse to prosecute rapists, maybe it's time this happens more often.

PlectrumElectrum Wed 18-Jan-17 13:52:00

Allthebest, it's interesting that the case was deemed not worthy of prosecution due to insufficient evidence yet there was sufficient evidence to conclude they did rape the woman 'on the balance of probabilities'. It begs the question that if, based on the testimony of the pursuer & the defendants & whatever else was relied upon, on the balance of probability the rape did occur, why was that evidence deemed insufficient to proceed with prosecution? There is obviously a difference in the bar to be reached in terms of obtaining a conviction beyond reasonable doubt, but if 'on balance' the pursuer has proven her case in a civil court, I'd consider the evidence available in that case should have been sufficient to proceed with a criminal case. I'd like to know why. The fact it isn't is, I think, something that needs to be looked at across the board & lessons learned from this case.

I don't think the PF can really escape the scrutiny that this outcome has brought to the earlier decision not to prosecute. And I'd like to see more transparency over this & the guidance being followed when considering whether to take rape prosecutions further than the police report/investigation.

KindDogsTail Wed 18-Jan-17 18:18:03

It is shocking, and CPS obviously is failing. But it is a victory too in that the judge was able to give a verdict that she had been raped even though she could not remember. This could certainly give others in the future to give a guilty verdict in similar cases.Here is a link,
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/17/court-rules-david-goodwillie-former-teammate-rapists/

There was another case this week where a Durham student sexually assaulted a girl when she was asleep. www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/15023775.Durham_University_student_jailed_for_sexual_assaults_on__vulnerable__female_undergraduate/
He was found guilty even though she had invited him back with her. The boy admitted it and pleaded guilty - he almost certainly have got away with it with a good lawyer as so many others appear to have done. His admission of guilt may help make other people more aware in the future that yes, men do assault/rape drunk girls when they are asleep/without their permission.

KindDogsTail Wed 18-Jan-17 18:38:34

www.nottinghampost.com/university-rowers-cleared-in-whats-app-rape-trial/story-30004437-detail/story.html
Here is a case where two alleged rapists were cleared of rape with a younger, drunk girl they filmed themselves having sex with. They posted on this film on Whats App. The first jury could not reach a verdict. The second in December found them not guilty.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 18-Jan-17 19:16:36

and CPS obviously is failing

Point of detail but the CPS only applies in England and Wales. The Scottish equivalent is the The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)

On the Nottingham case I can't fathom how the jury came to that decision.

KindDogsTail Wed 18-Jan-17 19:22:06

Thanks or explaining.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 18-Jan-17 21:11:19

Here is the full case report.

Judgment
www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search-judgments/judgment?id=d22e28a7-8980-69d2-b500-ff0000d74aa7

Totallymyownperson Tue 24-Jan-17 11:27:54

Do you think woman x in ched Evans case can sue. Maybe she can use the go fund me money to pay lawyers

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Tue 24-Jan-17 13:02:34

6 years seems an extremely long time and I imagine that the case was exceedingly expensive.

I agree that funding civil cases would be the ideal, but what figures would we be looking at, and would it be feasible? Women's charities are already notoriously underfunded so I imagine our potential donor pool would be quite small.

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