Judges urged to look again at ev­i­dence in Good­willie rape case

Coun­sel asks for neigh­bour’s tes­ti­mony to be taken into ac­count

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - Dave fin­lay

Ap­peal judges have been urged to look again at ev­i­dence that led to a for­mer Dundee United striker and his ex-team­mate be­ing la­belled as rapists in a civil ac­tion.

Se­nior coun­sel for David Good­willie ar­gued the judge who ruled against the play­ers in the da­m­ages ac­tion fell into error by fail­ing to take into ac­count tes­ti­mony from a neigh­bour.

Dorothy Bain QC said Lord Arm­strong’s treat­ment of the ev­i­dence from Clif­ford Wil­son was “un­sat­is­fac­tory and er­ro­neous”.

The judge ruled ear­lier this year that Denise Clair was en­ti­tled to £100,000 agreed da­m­ages af­ter rul­ing she had proved her case against Good­willie and David Robertson.

He said: “I find that in the early hours of Sun­day Jan­uary 2 2011 at a flat in Greig Cres­cent, Ar­madale, both de­fend­ers (the play­ers) took ad­van­tage of the pur­suer when she vul­ner­a­ble through an ex­ces­sive in­take of al­co­hol and, be­cause her cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing and de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses were so im­paired, was in­ca­pable of giv­ing mean­ing­ful con­sent; and that they each raped her.”

Good­willie, 28, who also played for Black­burn Rovers and Aberdeen, and his for­mer Tan­nadice team-mate Robertson, 31, had main­tained the sex was con­sen­sual. Both have now ap­pealed against Lord Arm­strong’s de­ci­sion to three judges at the Court of Ses­sion in Ed­in­burgh.

In his judg­ment Lord Arm­strong had said Mr Wil­son’s ev­i­dence dur­ing the case was “suf­fi­ciently con­fused that lit­tle re­liance ought to be placed on it”.

Mr Wil­son, who lived in the up­stairs flat at the ad­dress at Greig Cres­cent, said he had heard gig­gling and laugh­ing and what sounded like “nor­mal sex” from the down­stairs prop­erty.

Miss Bain said what Mr Wil­son de­scribed hear­ing was “sup­port­ive of a con­sen­sual en­counter”. She said: “The words he hears make sense in the con­text of what was hap­pen­ing.

“It is clear Mr Wil­son was talk­ing about the events of the early hours of the morn­ing of Jan­uary 2 in 2011.”

She said a fun­da­men­tal error had been made that Mr Wil­son had been con­fused that he was lis­ten­ing to an­other man. Miss Bain ar­gued it had re­sulted in the judge fail­ing to take into ac­count im­por­tant ev­i­dence which was rel­e­vant to crit­i­cal is­sues in the ac­tion.

One of the things Mr Wil­son had heard was a fe­male say­ing words “con­sis­tent with her be­ing ca­pa­ble of giv­ing and in­deed, with­hold­ing con­sent”.

Miss Clair, 31, who pre­vi­ously waived her right to anonymity, had gone out with a friend in Bath­gate but woke the fol­low­ing morn­ing naked in a house she did not recog­nise.

She con­tacted po­lice and al­though an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was car­ried out no crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tions were brought. She was granted an award un­der the crim­i­nal in­juries com­pen­sa­tion scheme.

The hear­ing con­tin­ues.

Pic­tures: Andrew Caw­ley and SNS.

A judge ruled ear­lier this year that Denise Clair, above, was en­ti­tled to £100,000 da­m­ages af­ter rul­ing David Good­willie, top and an­other for­mer Dundee United player David Robertson had raped her. Good­willie is now ap­peal­ing that de­ci­sion.

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