After section 3

Part of Sexual Offences (Procedure and Evidence) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:15 pm on 6th March 2002.

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Photo of Brian Monteith Brian Monteith Conservative 3:15 pm, 6th March 2002

I have never heard anything so preposterous. The reason why we grant anonymity to the alleged victim is to ensure that they feel comfortable about coming forward. Phil Gallie's proposal relates to the crime of rape and not to murder or other crimes because anonymity exists for the alleged victim of rape. Like Phil Gallie and many others, I do not believe that the granting of anonymity to people who have been accused of rape will open any floodgates. We do not see people battering down the doors of Parliament requesting anonymity for victims of other crimes. Likewise, I do not expect that people will say that there should be anonymity for people who are accused of other crimes. Rape is a special and particularly nasty crime that we have decided to treat differently because of the difficulty of bringing the prosecution. However, because of the often damaging outcome for those who have been found innocent, it is worth providing anonymity for the accused.