Rape case collapses over consent

G

Goku

Guest
#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid/4464402.stm

A rape case has collapsed after a 21-year-old student said that she had been too drunk to remember whether or not she had agreed to have sex.
The woman had alleged she was raped by fellow student Ruairi Dougal in a hall of residence at Aberystwyth University.
But High Court judge Justice Roderick Evans directed the jury to reach a not guilty verdict, on the basis that drunken consent is still consent.
Mr Dougal, 20, had told the Swansea court that the sex was consensual.
The woman said she passed out after drinking too much.
Swansea Crown Court heard on Wednesday, that the woman alleged that Mr Dougal, from County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland, had raped her in a corridor outside her room in the halls.
She told the court that she was sure she would not have consented, and if she had wanted sex she would have opened her flat door and taken the man into her bedroom.
But defence barrister Stephen Rees argued it was impossible for her to be sure she had not consented because she could not remember.
I thought this was relevant in light of the recent survey on weather or not drunk women are to blame for being sexually assaulted.
I don’t know if this case is setting or following a trend in the law, but it now appears that the law is laying the blame of rape with the inebriated rightly or wrongly.

This case looks like a very dodgy gray area to me.
If this girl was so drunk that she’d passed out and couldn’t move or speak then yes, clearly a case of rape.
But if she did consent but was just too drunk to remember consenting, then the chap is clearly innocent. It’s not mentioned by the BBC but the Daly mail has an article on this case in today’s paper in which she is quoted as saying that she remembers giving a grown of pleasure. Sounds like she enjoyed it at the time.

Opinions?
 
#4
At best the defendant abused the trust placed on him to see the lady back to her accomodation.
One does wonder where the lady's friends were?

Rape is still rape,
drunk or sober, groans of pleasure are no indication of consent
A few years ago, a lady about to be raped ,and who had no opportunity to escape the assault ,told her attacker to at least put on a condom.
He still got sent down ,but she was vilified as having tacitly consenting by asking for him to wear a condom.

IF the public want more convictions, this sort of ruling, then the judge must be educated
RANT OVER
awaiting incoming
 
#5
How many times has a young female had drunken sex then regreted it the next morning when all her mates find out? not too far to make an allegation of rape.

Besides that I dont believe many people get so drunk they have ABSOLUTLEY NO IDEA of what they are doing.
 
#6
A woman would not go through the trauma of making statement to police, undergoing a medical examination and standing in the witness box in Crown Court retelling the story just because she regretted a one night drunken stand!!
 
#7
Sorry, I think this was poor reporting, and I'm not sure if it should have gone to court.

The "victim" didn't remember even having sex until the "rapist" actually told her. Her case for rape was that she couldn't have given her consent as she would never have had sex in a corridor.

Rape's very hard to prove at the best of times, but in a case where the only witness was so drunk she doesn't even remember it taking place (let alone giving consent), until the so called perpetrator let on, there isn't really much of a case to answer.
 
#8
Poppy said:
A woman would not go through the trauma of making statement to police, undergoing a medical examination and standing in the witness box in Crown Court retelling the story just because she regretted a one night drunken stand!!
That all depends on what that woman's got to lose (boyfriend/husband, reputation).

Are you honestly saying that there's never been a fraudulent claim of rape?
 
#9
Poppy said:
A woman would not go through the trauma of making statement to police, undergoing a medical examination and standing in the witness box in Crown Court retelling the story just because she regretted a one night drunken stand!!
When at university I saw such things get way out of hand, slapper shags bloke, crys rape to her friends, subsequently reported to police, statements taken and yes she did make a complaint. I saw him chatting her upon the night and she WAS up for it. These things can take on a massive monentum (spelling?)

Not every case of drunken sex is rape, just as there are scumbags who will rape women, there are women who will falsely accuse a guy of rape. Its not always balck and white. From what I read I think the verdict was correct. He should have been punished for being such a scumbag while working and a student at the university.
 
#10
Whilst being just about able to accept the general male view that women are only placed on this earth for our gratification, I think this case ended before it should have. She was drunk - OK. Accused, the temporary security guard, was sober and had been asked to see her safely home. He must have ego bigger than Tom Jones to think she was gagging for it from a total stranger in a non-social setting. The current legislation re rape is too male dominated. Some will joke that it would be OK but just imagine any of us who was helped to bed well pisshed by a male stranger and woke up with severe pain in ARRSE next morning. What does consent have to do with it when the victim is so seriously out of things. I, when drunk, will agree to almost anything. If one wants to think this way, lets have some protection for the pisshed built into future legislation. For my money, it is still rape if the woman was a prostitute and was working at the time. In ordinary cases - no means fcuking no way. If drink is involved - the male should have to prove he was a welcome guest and the victim knew what she was doing. Just to prove his defence of she was willing. I dealt with a number of rapes - genuine and put-up jobs. It is something that has to be stopped.
 
#11
Sexual Offences Act 2003 had changed the law so that someone who is asleep or unconscious will not be taken as having consented. The onus shifts to the accused to prove consent.

Swansea Crown Court yesterday heard that a guard, a complete stranger, had sex with a 21-year-old woman while she was lying unconscious in a corridor outside her flat in a university hall of residence.

She was adamant she had not consented, telling the court: "If I had wanted to sleep with him, I would have taken the few steps to my bedroom."

But because she had lost consciousness and could not even remember having intercourse, prosecutor Huw Rees said the case against 20-year- old Ryairi Dougal had to be halted.

The judge, Mr Justice Roderick Evans, said he agreed with the prosecution and instructed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty 'even if you don't agree'.

Onus has shifted

But last night, Labour MP Vera Baird QC, a leading criminal lawyer, was reported to have called on the Lord Chancellor and the Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate.

She told the Guardian newspaper that the Sexual Offences Act 2003 had changed the law so that someone who is asleep or unconscious will not be taken as having consented. The onus shifts to the accused to prove consent.

The woman had said she drank 'small vodkas' and a glass of wine while getting ready for a party at the arts centre of Aberystwyth University, in West Wales.

But after just one glass of wine at the party itself she began to feel unwell and headed for the toilets, where she slipped over.

By now she felt "more drunk than ever before in my life".

She told the jury: "My dress was in a state and I wanted to leave. I went on to a patio for some fresh air. I was losing focus and very dizzy."

A female member of staff said she would find someone to walk her the short distance home and came back with Dougal, also a student who was working as a guard.

They walked to her block of flats. She said she could not remember climbing the stairs, but could recall fumbling for her keys outside the door to her bedsit. There was little dispute about what happened next. Dougal, from County Donegal, Northern Ireland, had sexual intercourse with her in the corridor.

Flashback to 'rape'

The woman said she had passed out, but came round briefly to be aware that "something was happening but I didn't know what". She lost consciousness again.

Later, after Dougal had left, she went to sleep on top of books left on her bed.

The following morning, she said, "I was very confused and tried to work out what had happened."

As she stepped outside the block of flats, she had a flashback to a scene from the night before and became worried.

Two days later, she approached the university's counselling service and the police were called in. They interviewed Dougal - who told them sex had taken place.

The student told the jury: "I couldn't believe it. I know I would not have consented. I didn't even know it had happened."

She said she still could not remember having sex.

Cross-examined by Dougal's barrister, she agreed "emitting a pleasurable groaning sound" at one stage but added: "I was unconscious. I stopped groaning as soon as I knew something was happening."

She admitted that she told police: "I feel I am to blame because I got so drunk I could not remember the events."

At the end of the student's cross-examination evidence, the prosecutor told the judge he had reconsidered the case in the light of what she had said.

Mr Rees said: "The question of consent is an essential part of the case. Drunken consent is still consent. She said she could not remember giving consent and that is fatal for the prosecution's case."
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#12
Poppy said:
A woman would not go through the trauma of making statement to police, undergoing a medical examination and standing in the witness box in Crown Court retelling the story just because she regretted a one night drunken stand!!
You need to understand two things here Poppy.

1. It wouldn't be the first time that such a thing has happened.

2. The issue here was whether she gave consent or not. She said she couldn't remember.

You seem to be damning a man on the basis of your personal feelings. You'll find that the court is less emotional and deals with cold hard fact. The fact is, she could not remember if she consented or not. Had she already told that to the police? There is no room for speculation when you are dealing with an individuals liberty. To convict a man on specualtion is wrong and despite the knockings of our legal system by some quarters, it is fair and it is right and proper that a person will not be subjected to prison or other punishment where there is no evidence to state clearly that they have committed an offence. Now you can be as angry as you want about that, but how would you feel if it were your Dad, brother, boyfriend who was the accused?
 
#13
Biscuits_AB said:
Poppy said:
A woman would not go through the trauma of making statement to police, undergoing a medical examination and standing in the witness box in Crown Court retelling the story just because she regretted a one night drunken stand!!
You need to understand two things here Poppy.

1. It wouldn't be the first time that such a thing has happened.

2. The issue here was whether she gave consent or not. She said she couldn't remember.

You seem to be damning a man on the basis of your personal feelings. You'll find that the court is less emotional and deals with cold hard fact. The fact is, she could not remember if she consented or not. Had she already told that to the police? There is no room for speculation when you are dealing with an individuals liberty. To convict a man on specualtion is wrong and despite the knockings of our legal system by some quarters, it is fair and it is right and proper that a person will not be subjected to prison or other punishment where there is no evidence to state clearly that they have committed an offence. Now you can be as angry as you want about that, but how would you feel if it were your Dad, brother, boyfriend who was the accused?
The fact that she could remember whether or not she gave consent came out in xx - so obviously this implies she did not put it it her initial statement. I am not damning anyone - you have misconstrued my words. Many rape cases may have two sides to the story - this woman believes she was raped, the accused believes she gave consent. The jury have to be "sure beyond reasonable doubt" that she did not give consent - if she is not sure herself then it is right that the case is dropped at half time.

From IC Wales:

University rape case collapses Nov 24 2005




Robin Turner, Western Mail


YOUNG women too drunk to remember whether they had agreed to have sex were warned yesterday that "drunken consent is still consent", as a judge threw out a rape case centred at a Welsh university campus.

The judge directed a jury to bring in a not-guilty verdict against a university security guard accused of raping a student, "even if you don't agree".

It came after the 21-year-old alleged victim - a student at Aberystwyth University - admitted under cross-examination she was too drunk to remember whether or not she had agreed to sex.

Her admission, coming on the second day of a rape trial at Swansea Crown Court, meant the case against the defendant collapsed.

Ryairi Dougal, 20, (pictured right) who was also a student, had insisted throughout that sex between them had been consensual.




Story continues

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High Court judge Justice Roderick Evans gave his direction after the prosecution made it clear it was offering no evidence.


Crown prosecutor Huw Rees explained to the jury, "You have to be sure the complainant has not given consent.


"She said she could not remember giving consent but drunken consent is still consent - that was fatal to the prosecution case."


The case spotlights what many see as the increasing dangers of Britain's binge-drinking culture as 24-hour licensing laws take effect today.


The dramatic conclusion to the case came three days after a survey found almost a quarter of people in England and Wales felt women who were drunk or dressed provocatively were partly to blame for rape.


It has triggered calls from Welsh AMs and women's groups for changes in rape law.


During the court case the jury heard that the student had become heavily drunk during a party at Aberystwyth University's arts centre.


A friend later insisted someone walk her to her halls of residence flat and Mr Dougal, a part-time university security guard, was chosen.


After the incident last summer the woman woke up on her bed "on a pile of books" barely able to remember the night before.


Two days later the student complained to a university counsellor after having flashbacks that something had happened and the police were called in.


Mr Dougal was then questioned and claimed they had consensual sex in the corridor near her flat.


That was the first time the alleged victim, who suspected something had happened, became aware that she had had sex.


She had wept in the witness box as she admitted being "drunker than ever before" having consumed several glasses of vodka and wine at the party


But during the trial she told the court, "If I had wanted to sleep with him I would have taken the few steps to my bedroom."


Despite her continued insistence, however, the judge agreed with the prosecution when it decided not to continue with the case.


Dougal, of County Donegal, had denied rape, telling police she had been a willing partner to what his barrister Stephen Jones called, "steamy, passionate, spontaneous sex".


He also claimed the student flirted with him, saying "I did not know you were so handsome".


She said she could not remember the words adding, "I'm clear in my mind I would not have consented."


After the jury was dismissed, the judge criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for bringing the case to trial.


It emerged that in a statement made to police just after the incident the woman said, "I felt to blame, I'd got so drunk I could not remember the events."


After the trial yesterday a CPS spokesman said, "It was the prosecution case throughout that consent was not given.


"Under cross-examination I think that she accepted that she could not remember refusing and it could not then be said there was no reasonable doubt.


He added, "When a review is conducted it is conducted on the paper case.


"Of course, a trial is dependent on live evidence from witnesses in the evidence box and the two things do not always match up."


Dougal said nothing after yesterday's acquittal.


The woman yesterday left the court in tears accompanied by her mother.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#14
In that case then, she has told the police that she did not give consent and later, under cross examination she breaks down and states that she does not recall whether she consented or not, makes her appear (note the word 'appear' please) to have lied to the police. Should anyone be convicted on the word of a liar?

I haven't misconstrued anything Poppy. Your script was very clear, albeit an assumption of the woman's innocence and therefore of the man's guilt. Unless you wish to point out which part of it I have 'misconstrued'?
 
#15
Mereminx,

Can you link to this? I'm not doubting you, it just scares me a little. Before you wonder why, think about this. I take a woman out to dinner, we have a few glasses of wine with our meal, I take her home and we have sex. After the event (for whatever reason) she now accuses me of rape. And it's up to me to prove that it wasn't, and that she gave her consent, because she says she was drunk and asleep/unconscious and there's no way of proving otherwise.

Poppy, the quote you've put up makes a point. The victim didn't even remember having sex until the security guard chap admitted it. There's no way that she could ever be regarded as a reliable witness. Doesn't make the bloke any less of a scumbag, but he'll always be "that bloke who sh*gged that student" and worse words will be used behind his back, I'm sure.

Before you start thinking I've been on a rape charge or something, not quite. I was falsely accused of assault by a fellow female student whilst at university, and it was only because of independent witnesses (her soon to be ex friends) that nothing came of it. A couple of weeks later, she was shown to be a pathological liar with other mental problems, when her husband turned out to be someone that she'd only met a couple of times, but had some decent photos of, and that she wasn't an orphan at all, but had wealthy parents who lived in Germany.

What if those witnesses hadn't been there?

What if she'd cried rape?

Edited because I missed out a rather relevant point in the first paragraph
 
#16
Biscuits_AB said:
...but how would you feel if it were your Dad, brother, boyfriend who was the accused?
Sorry to jump into someone else's feelings but if my Dad, brother, boyfriend got his leg over in the circumstances as agreed by the accused, I would have very little feeling for him - family or not. What if she were your Mum, sister or girlfriend? What has happened may be all very well technically and legally but I do not see it as justice. Perhaps I'm too much a fan of John Wayne?
 
#17
What is wrong is that the bloke had his name mentioned. That should not happen until a guilty verdict is returned. There have been numerous cases where a woman has lied and cried foul when indeed no crime had occurred. The man accused has his name and picture spread all over the media, and regardless of the verdict, is stigmatised. "There is no smoke without fire" .... but occasionally, just occasionally, there is.
 
#18
Poppy said:
A woman would not go through the trauma of making statement to police, undergoing a medical examination and standing in the witness box in Crown Court retelling the story just because she regretted a one night drunken stand!!
As someone who is a Law student who also studies some criminology modules I can tell you that is total bull.
 
#19
the_guru said:
What is wrong is that the bloke had his name mentioned. That should not happen until a guilty verdict is returned. There have been numerous cases where a woman has lied and cried foul when indeed no crime had occurred. The man accused has his name and picture spread all over the media, and regardless of the verdict, is stigmatised. "There is no smoke without fire" .... but occasionally, just occasionally, there is.
I would like to know if the escort had this defence in his mind as he was on the corridor floor like a landed fish or was it something pointed out to him by a legal beagle? Stagmatised? He deserves to be neutered.
If a collapsed, total stranger, female fully dressed on the corridor floor is his idea of sex, he'd be safer with one of these
http://www.fleshlight.com/main/
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#20
OldRedCap said:
Biscuits_AB said:
...but how would you feel if it were your Dad, brother, boyfriend who was the accused?
Sorry to jump into someone else's feelings but if my Dad, brother, boyfriend got his leg over in the circumstances as agreed by the accused, I would have very little feeling for him - family or not. What if she were your Mum, sister or girlfriend? What has happened may be all very well technically and legally but I do not see it as justice. Perhaps I'm too much a fan of John Wayne?

And that Sir, is quite apparant. Coming from your background, I would have expected a modicum of objectivity. The 'shoot first ask questions later' approach is one of the factors which helped bring about the demise of Judges Rules and now see's police officers tied up with paperwork and wrestling with red tape.

This country's legal system operates under the very premise that a man is innocent until found guilty. You appear to have forgotten that.
 

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