I’m still suffering from jail injustice
Man’s hell over wrongful conviction
A Rutherglen man who spent five years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit has described how he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
Jim Boyle was jailed for five years after being found guilty of raping two girls numerous times in the 1970s.
But four years later, the verdict was quashed and he was cleared of any wrongdoing at a re-trial in 2010.
The former teacher, 60, has spoken exclusively to the Reformer about how he feels the guilty verdict was manufactured.
He also hit out at the General Teaching Council (GTC) who have refused to put him back on the teaching register.
And he reckons his case could have come straight from the Netflix series on television – Making a Murderer – which follows the trials of American Steven Avery who is currently serving life imprisonment for murder.
Jim, originally from Fernhill but now staying in Hamilton Road, describes how his accusers lied under oath and threatened to destroy his career and life.
And he blasted the Crown Office, judges and the GTC for the way they have acted towards him.
James has written to a number of MPs and MSPs as well as the First Minister about his case but so far no-one has been willing to take it on. He said: “This is now in its 14th year and I continue to be threatened by public agencies.
“I am currently in a struggle to defend myself.
“In many ways this is worse than jail, it’s a different kind of imprisonment.
“The verdict of the jury does not mean a thing.”
This is now in its 14th year and I continue to be threatened
A Rutherglen man who was the victim of a miscarriage of justice has hit out at those he believes facilitated a conviction against him.
Jim Boyle spent five years in prison after being found guilty of raping two young girls numerous times in the 1970s.
The verdict was quashed in 2009 but Jim wasn’t released until after another trial in 2010 resulted in a not proven verdict.
Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, the 60-year-old teacher has been unable to pick up the thread of his old life.
He tried to get his teaching career going again but was refused by the General Teaching Council, despite him having no convictions.
And he blasted his accusers and the prosecution service who he believes set him up.
Jim, who grew up in Fernhill, has passed transcripts from his two court cases as well as documentation from the General Teaching Council and Crown Office to the Reformer.
He also alleges his homosexuality saw him discriminated against.
Speaking of his accusers, he says: “What you will see is how easily they found it to lie under oath. One of them threatened to ruin my life and career, those are the threats that were issued.
“They were trying to make money from it. I warned the prosecution at the time they would be banging down the door looking for money and I was right.
“In 2004 one of them claimed I and two other people had raped her but she later denied that.
“She told me I had sex with my pupils and told me to watch my back because she knew more people in Rutherglen than me.”
In 1995, James was viciously beaten by a group of thugs when returning home from a night out with work friends.
Five years later, he was awarded criminal injuries compensation, something he believes prompted his accusers to act.
He said: “There was no crime and there has never been any evidence of a crime.
“At first they said it would be four counts of rape but by 2010 she and the crown office had worked this to over 1000. Does anyone really think that is credible?
“She also told many stories about the supposed trigger that brought back these memories – you get various versions.
“Immediately after me getting that money, which they claimed was a trigger, I was receiving phone calls saying I was in trouble and that they were going to destroy my career, so I reported that to my employer.
“They gave evidence and confirmed it, although they hadn’t recorded it. No-one investigated this supposed trigger.
“If they had it would have gotten in the way of a conviction.
During his first trial in 2005, one of Jim’s accusers admitted they felt sorry for him after he was attacked but that he “must have been cruising to pick up a wee boy”, and had “deserved what you have got”.
Looking back on that moment, Jim was disgusted with the reaction of the late Lord McPhail, who was presiding over the case, and his interpretation of the Moorov doctrine, which deals with corroboration.
“As soon as they say something like that, his job is to say ‘what’s this all about, what does this mean and where is the evidence?’ Jim said. “But he just let it go.”
“McPhail was an arrogant man. He had the greatest duties and responsibilities and he simply acted in the criminal interest and the Crown interest throughout.
“Before the jury went to consider their verdict he kept saying ‘we have a special rule’ about corroboration, insinuating this was so bad they needed a special rule to deal with it.
needed a special rule to deal with it.
“The jurors came back and asked if someone could corroborate their own evidence, which I’d have thought if you watched The Bill you would know they couldn’t, but he just kept going on about a special rule.
“He led the jury, there’s no question of that.”
In his 2010 trial, the court heard Jim’s accusers admit they planned to ruin his life and career. They also heard conflicting evidence from the 2005 trial regarding a host of incidents.
“There are clear- cut examples of perjury,” he says.
“Clearly they are trying to insinuate I was a paedophile but with no evidence to suggest I had carried out any of the crimes they claimed, none.
“If you are accused of a sex crime, you are guilty.
“The Crown seems to operate a presumption of guilt, contrary to law.
“I asked for medical records and experts were quite clear, if someone were abused at an early age, she would not be able to control their physical responses, yet there was no evidence of this.”
Despite being cleared, Jim says he is still treated like a criminal, especially due to the not proven verdict.
“Not proven is an unspoken problem,” he says.
“Over the years some people have decided to construe it as meaning something else, the ‘no smoke without fire’ brigade.
“But if you read the judge’s charge to the jury in 2010, he makes it quite clear these two verdicts – not proven and not guilty – are the same, the outcome is the same and you can choose either.
“He did not distinguish, unlike McPhail in 2005.”
But despite his problems, Jim revealed the vast majority of people he knows have stuck by them.
“I was on the Main Street and I saw someone I grew up with and nodded at them. They shouted after me and asked how I’d been doing.
“I asked if he’d heard what was going on and he just replied that he’d heard thousands of stories but didn’t believe any of them. I was much obliged, overall that’s the kind of response I’ve had.
“One of my accusers is still in Rutherglen. I’ve seen her maybe once but she doesn’t shop here. People know what she has been up too.”
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