Civil court rape claims set to increase


Rape Crisis Scotland has said that several women have been in contact over seeking justice after being let down by criminal courts

22nd February 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scottish women are set to seek justice for rape through the civil courts.

Rape Crisis Scotland has said there is likely to be increasing numbers of women turning to the civil system due to frustration at low criminal conviction rates for sexual assault.

This week, it was revealed that a women is pursuing a civil case against Stephen Coxen for personal injury.

Mr Coxen was charged with raping the woman, a former student at the University of St Andrews, at her flat while she was intoxicated during freshers’ week five years ago.

In November 2015, a jury at the High Court in Glasgow found the case against him not proven, however the alleged victim – known as Miss M – has now launched civil action.

The case follows a ruling last year that saw Denise Clair awarded £100,000 in damages from former Dundee United footballers David Goodwillie and David Robertson. At the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Lord Armstrong ruled the two men had raped her.

Sandy Brindley, chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland, said that her organisation had received contact from several women who are considering civil court action after failing to secure justice through the criminal courts.

She said: “There are a lot of people who feel very let down by the criminal justice system, and I think the fact there is now going to be a ­second civil case in as many years will make other rape survivors view it as an option to get some form of justice.

“I think we will see more people turning to the civil system. It’s not for everyone and it’s not an easy process, but at least it’s a chance for justice who feel they’ve been let down by the criminal system.”