News Criminal Defence 4th Jul 2017

Fiona Robertson’s client acquitted of all historic rape charges

Fiona Robertson‘s client faced three specimen counts of sexual intercourse with a girl under 13 in relation to allegations he had repeatedly raped his niece during the 1980s. It was alleged the defendant took advantage of his trusted position within the family to abuse his niece at a period when the family was vulnerable due to the death of the complainant’s father. During this period the defendant regularly visited the family home to help the family through their bereavement. As he was only 8 years older than the complainant and her siblings he regularly played with the children and had free reign of the house.

The allegations had first been made to the complainant’s family in 1996, however, no action was taken until the matter was reported to the police in 2015. Family members asserted that the complainant suddenly became withdrawn and a “shell of herself” over the years the alleged abuse was occurring. It was alleged the complainant stopped her brothers coming into her bedroom and would become upset when her uncle was due to visit. The defence asserted any change in behaviour was attributable to the traumatic circumstances of the complainant’s father dying and the complainant entering her teenage years, not to any alleged abuse.

The defendant denied any sexual contact had taken place and was at a loss to explain why the complainant would make such heinous allegations against him. He maintained the parties had enjoyed a good relationship and the allegations had come as a complete shock. Following a 5 day trial the defendant was acquitted of all charges.

Fiona was instructed by Glenda Hair of Hunt & Coombs Solicitors.

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