Woman welcomes verdict after judge rules Goodwillie and ex-team mate raped her

Denise Clair at Edinburgh Court of Session.
Denise Clair at Edinburgh Court of Session.

A woman has welcomed a judge’s ruling which found she was raped by two footballers after they avoided a criminal trial.

DOWNLOAD THE EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS APP ON ITUNES OR GOOGLE PLAY

Plymouth Argyle player David Goodwillie and his ex-Dundee United teammate David Robertson were ordered to pay the woman £100,000 in damages.

Denise Clair, who has waived her right to anonymity, claimed the men raped her in the early hours of January 2, 2011 at a property in Armadale, West Lothian, following a night out in nearby Bathgate.

Damages of £100,000 were agreed in the civil action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

In his judgment, Lord Armstrong said: “Having carefully examined and scrutinised the whole evidence in the case, I find the evidence for the pursuer to be cogent, persuasive and compelling.

“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, who was 24 at the time of the incident, was left “devastated, upset and confused” when she was told the men would not be prosecuted.

After the Court of Session judgment, she said: “I am pleased by today’s verdict. However I am bitterly disappointed that I was so badly let down by the criminal justice system and was forced to seek a remedy through the civil court.

“If it was not for the support of my lawyer Cameron Fyfe and the team at Rape Crisis Scotland, I do not know how I could have coped throughout this long, harrowing journey.”

Former Scotland international Goodwillie and Robertson both maintain they had consensual sex with the woman.

Ms Clair, now 30, said she remembers going to the Glenmavis Tavern in Bathgate on the evening of January 1, 2011.

She remembers meeting Robertson there but has no memory of meeting Goodwillie.

Her next recollection is waking up the following morning in a house she did not recognise. She was naked and could not find her clothes.

Robertson and Goodwillie went to the Glenmavis Tavern on the evening of January 1 after playing for Dundee United away against Aberdeen earlier in the day.

Goodwillie had scored an equalising goal in the 95th minute of the match.

The judge said he did not find Goodwillie’s evidence to be “persuasive”, and did not find Robertson “credible or reliable”.

Plymouth Argyle said in a statement: “We note today’s judgment from the Court of Session in Edinburgh regarding David Goodwillie.

“We await the full report, which we will consider in detail before making any comment.

“Until such time, David Goodwillie will not be selected to play for Plymouth Argyle.”

Robertson currently plays for Scottish League Two side Cowdenbeath.

Mr Fyfe said: “I am delighted for Denise. She has shown great courage throughout the case. Her determination may encourage other victims who feel they have been let down by the criminal system to turn to the civil court for a remedy.”

• Rape Crisis Scotland runs a free helpline every day, 6pm to midnight, on 08088 01 03 02