Friday, September 25, 2009

Innocent vet told wrong verdict in Cumbrian rape trial

I would love to see a rape victim be told by a judge that because of thier actions, they had to pay thier own court costs. Talk of punishing the victim.

Mistaken verdict read, man acutally not guilty of rape.

A vet was cleared of raping a Polish woman in Penrith – but only after the jury foreman told him by mistake that he had been found guilty.

Niall McDonald, 33, slumped with his head in his hands when the verdict was returned after a four-day trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

But his despair turned to delight seconds later when the foreman admitted he had got it wrong, and the verdict should have been a unanimous ‘not guilty’.

However, Mr McDonald will still have to pay his own legal costs.

Judge Paul Batty QC said it would not be appropriate for the costs to be reimbursed out of public funds since Mr McDonald had “brought the prosecution on himself” by the way he had behaved.

“The conduct of the defendant was reprehensible,” the judge said.

Mr McDonald had been accused of raping the woman as she slept in an armchair after a drunken night out. She told the court she had woken up to find him on top of her, having sex with her.

Mr McDonald, of Amherst Crescent, Hove in East Sussex, said that he did have sex with the woman, but she agreed.