After section 3

Part of Sexual Offences (Procedure and Evidence) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:00 pm on 6th March 2002.

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Photo of Phil Gallie Phil Gallie Conservative 3:00 pm, 6th March 2002

I am concerned about those who feel that they are the victims of rape, but the guilt of the accused must be proved in court. In rape cases, those who make the accusation have the benefits of anonymity. Like Johann Lamont, I recognise the seriousness of the charge of rape and its effect on people, which is why I ask that anonymity be extended. Rape charges have a gross aspect.

I bring members' attention to the experiences of one of my constituents—John McLaughlin of Ayr—who took his own life. A few months after that, the person who accused him admitted that the accusation that she had made was false. She was convicted in court and given 100 hours of community service for wasting police time. She spent 100 hours doing community service; he took his own life. There are numerous other such cases.