Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lord Advocate Angiolini’s 'office' in 2001 was forced to apologise over 10 year old rape victim after failures to prosecute accused within time limits

NMG0505123Office of Elish Angiolini as Procurator Fiscal, Aberdeen in 2001 had to apologise over trial failure. While the Hollie Greig case continues to simmer throughout the Scottish justice system with the recent arrest of well known journalist & broadcaster Robert Green after he travelled to Aberdeen to launch a protest & campaign for justice for Hollie, it transpires that dejavu may well be at play, as the Telegraph Newspaper reports from 2001 when the ‘office of’ the current Lord Advocate, then the regional Procurator Fiscal in for Grampian, Highlands & Islands Elish Angiolini, was forced to apologise over the failure of the prosecution of a man alleged to have raped a 10 year old girl.

The 10 year old girl received a letter of apology for her rape, from a Fiscal Depute, rather than the Procurator Fiscal in charge of the office. The case against the accused was dismissed by Sheriff Graeme Buchanan, reports the article in the Telegraph newspaper.

It has also emerged that similar circumstances occurred in the case of a 7 year old boy, who was also raped and again the local Procurator Fiscal’s office failed to prosecute the rapist again after the same time delays prevented the case reaching court before 110 days, according to Ms Angiolini’s instructions.

The Telegraph newspaper reports :

NMG0505123Procurator apologises to girl, 10 in sex case

Procurator apologises to girl, 10 in sex case

By Tara Womersley
Published: 12:00AM BST 26 May 2001

A 10-YEAR-OLD girl has received a letter of apology from the procurator fiscal’s office after the case of a man, who allegedly sexually abused her, collapsed because of the time it took to come to court.

The child, who is receiving counselling, told her parents three years ago that she had been abused by a 19-year-old male relative. But the case only reached Aberdeen Sheriff Court this month and was dismissed by Sheriff Graeme Buchanan because he felt it had not come to trial within a reasonable time.

In a letter to the girl, Sandra McRobert, principal procurator fiscal depute for Aberdeen, wrote: “Everyone knew that you would tell the court what happened to you if you had to, but I also know from mum that you were very scared of having to come to court. “

She said: “You have been very brave over all this and I am very sorry that because grown-ups made mistakes, you are angry because you feel (the accused) has not been punished by the courts.”

The girl’s family are calling for an inquiry by the Lord Advocate and investigating whether they can bring a private prosecution against the alleged attacker. George Mathers, their solicitor, said: “I believe the person accused had admitted his guilt to officers. It is a very simple and straightforward case, which should have been given priority.”

The girl’s father said: “My daughter feels guilt and thinks no one believes her. How do you tell a 10-year-old the system has let her down? The last three years have been traumatising for us all. My daughter’s personality was completely changed after the event, but her outgoing and playful nature has helped her to cope.”

This week it also emerged that a case of a seven-year-old boy who was allegedly raped had collapsed because of delays in bringing it to court in Aberdeen. Elish Angiolini, regional procurator fiscal for Grampian, Highlands and Islands, said that she had instructed Grampian police to treat all child witness cases as custody cases, which have to be processed within 110 days.

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