I’m still suf­fer­ing from jail in­jus­tice

Man’s hell over wrong­ful con­vic­tion

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

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.”

I was re­ceiv­ing calls say­ing I was in trou­ble and that they were go­ing to de­stroy my ca­reer

Jim Boyle

Years of pain Jim Boyle was be­hind bars for five years

Jail tor­ment TV cam­eras have fol­lowed Steven Avery’s fight for jus­tice

250316boyle_01

Re­flec­tions Jim Boyle wrongly spent five years in prison and feels he is still treated like a crim­i­nal to this day

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