Footballer David Goodwillie has left his club to “focus on a potential appeal” after a civil court ruled he and a former teammate raped a woman.
The former Scotland international and his ex-Dundee United teammate David Robertson have been ordered to pay £100,000 damages to Denise Clair after a judge in a civil case ruled they raped her in Armadale, West Lothian, in January 2011.
The men have never faced a criminal trial but Ms Clair, who previously waived her right to anonymity, took civil action after she was left “devastated, upset and confused” when told the men would not be prosecuted.
Goodwillie, 27, had been accused of serious sexual assault but the charge was dropped.
Robertson was also questioned in connection with the incident, and earlier this week it was announced by Cowdenbeath that the 30-year-old has now retired from professional football.
Goodwillie signed for Plymouth Argyle last year but has now left the club.
A statement on the League Two club’s website said: “Plymouth Argyle Football Club (PAFC) confirm that David Goodwillie has left the club by mutual agreement.
“Mr Goodwillie has asked the club to terminate his contract of employment in order that he can focus his time on a potential appeal of the civil judgment made against him. PAFC has agreed to his request.”
In his ruling at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Lord Armstrong said that having “carefully examined and scrutinised” the case, he found the evidence for Ms Clair, the pursuer, was “cogent, persuasive and compelling”.
He said: “In the result, therefore, I find that in the early hours of Sunday January 2 2011, at the flat in Greig Crescent, Armadale, both defenders took advantage of the pursuer when she was vulnerable through an excessive intake of alcohol and, because her cognitive functioning and decision-making processes were so impaired, was incapable of giving meaningful consent; and that they each raped her.”
Ms Clair told the Sunday Post she had refused an out-of-court settlement and feels “vindicated” by the ruling.
She had originally sought £500,000 in compensation but damages of £100,000 were agreed in the case.
The 30-year-old mother told the Sunday Post: “There was a pre-trial meeting of the advocates in Edinburgh on September 21.
“An increased offer on behalf of both men of £115,000, including expenses, was made. Again, I refused.
“Lord Armstrong awarded me £100,000 - less than the players wanted to buy me off with - and most of it will be swallowed up by legal costs. I don’t mind though. All that matters is that I am vindicated.
“I wanted the truth to emerge and no amount of money would have bought my silence or made up for the suffering I, and my family, endured.”
She insisted: “I would never have accepted anything out of court. I was never for sale.”