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Daily Record
Daily Record
Jennifer Hyland

Furious Scots mum demands answers after daughter's alleged rapist avoids prosecution

A mum has demanded prosecutors overturn a decision which allowed her teenage daughter’s alleged rapist to avoid prosecution under controversial government guidelines.

The Sunday Mail last week revealed the Crown Office enacted “diversion from prosecution” rules that then allowed the 17-year-old to avoid a criminal trial and a possible conviction.

Under the Scottish Government-backed guidelines, the youth won’t appear in court to answer the charges and can continue with his plans to travel to the US for a football scholarship.

In a letter to Justice Secretary Angela Constance, the girl’s mother said: “Is this what justice in Scotland now looks like in 2023 where a young victim of a serious sexual crime has the courage to report the offence, to go through the trauma recounting the events only to find out the appropriate action is to send the accused on a course with no admission of guilt or punitive measures?

“What has happened here is quite simply wrong and is all about the accused and has no regard for the victim.

“I am certain if the people of Scotland were aware that these kind of decisions are being made, the push-back would hopefully encourage an immediate review and change of process when deciding proceedings or disposals of serious sexual crimes. Victims and families need to have confidence in our criminal justice system, especially around decisions relating to serious sexual crimes.

“While I fully understand that COPFS is independent of Government in terms of decision-making, as Justice Secretary I felt it appropriate you are made aware of this case in the hope no future victims suffer the experience my daughter has had.”

Her 17-year-old daughter has lodged an appeal under the Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) scheme to have the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision reconsidered.

She said: “I feel totally let down by the Crown’s decision. They have left me and my family no other choice but to fight for some hope of justice.

“I have to live with this for ever whilst he gets off scot-free. This is the only way forward to try to get some answers.”

Her mother has contacted Crown Office officials to demand a meeting to ask why the case of the 17-year-old Ayrshire youth, who can’t be named for legal reasons, has been disposed of under a scheme effective for minor offences.

The 46-year-old said: “This has destroyed my daughter but the man who attacked her gets to go on living his life as if he has done nothing wrong.

“He never has to answer to the charges, never has to see a courtroom, never has to admit or deny anything and doesn’t have a criminal record. This isn’t a low-level crime – this is a rape case.”

Her daughter had been in a relationship with the teenager for two months when she said he attacked her in January.

In March she broke down and confided in her mum, who called police.

The family expected the case to go to court but were left stunned when in May the CPS sent him a letter offering a ­diversion from prosecution.

Diversion from prosecution guidelines were set to offer a voluntary “alternative” strategy to prosecution via community justice services. At the conclusion of the intervention, which usually lasts three months, justice social work submit a completion report to COPFS.

The alleged attacker is understood to be having his case reviewed next month, after which a decision will be made if he can go to the US to take up the scholarship. Police confirmed the accused was arrested, charged and reported to the Procurator Fiscal over allegations of rape.

The accused’s dad has called the teenager’s claim “malicious allegations”.

Sandy Brindley, of Rape Crisis Scotland, said: “We really do question where the consideration for the protection and justice for the complainer was in this case. Cases like this could deter other young women from coming forward.”

Scottish Tory shadow justice secretary Russell Findlay said: “Diverting a man accused of rape from prosecution is barely believable. That the victim is having to fight for her right to justice is abhorrent.”

A COPFS spokesperson said: “We will meet the complainer and those supporting her. However, to protect the rights of everyone involved, it is not appropriate for us to comment publicly.”

The Scottish Government said: “We recognise the devastating impact of sexual crimes. We are unable to comment on decisions made by the Crown as these are a matter for the Lord Advocate.”

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