Justice for teenage holidaymaker as 'cowardly' West Lothian rapist's appeal rejected
A holidaymaker raped at knifepoint as a teenager on the Greek island of Zante has spoken of her relief after her seven-year fight for justice finally ended with the rejection of her attacker’s appeal.
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Thomas McLean subjected the woman, then aged 18, to a prolonged attack in June 2014 which only ended when she desperately begged for her life.
McLean, from Whitburn, West Lothian, was arrested and bailed but after failing to return to Zante to stand trial he was found guilty in his absence and sentenced to 10 years behind bars in a tough Greece prison.
A three-year battle at Edinburgh Sheriff Court ended with McLean’s extradition to begin his sentence in January 2020.
But inn March 2021 he lodged an appeal against his conviction, to the dismay of his victim who was told she may need to return to Greece to give evidence.
However, McLean’s appeal has now been rejected by a Greek court because it was lodged too late and he will finally pay for his crime.
The victim, from north west England, said: “I feel so relieved that it’s now finally over after all these years.
“For six years I was unable to move on while he played the system and did everything possible to avoid prison.
“His decision to appeal came as a huge shock and brought all the trauma and uncertainty back.
“I had already given evidence to the Greek court about what he did to me and I would have done it again if it came to it. I now want to get on with my life.”
Scottish Conservative shadow community safety minister Russell Findlay, who supported the family’s case, said: “This woman’s horrific ordeal was compounded by McLean’s cynical agenda of prolonging the criminal proceedings.
“Unfortunately, some of the responsibility for this falls on the Scottish justice system which took three years to secure his extradition.
“This is completely unacceptable and is evidence of a system which fundamentally fails to respect the rights of victims, especially women who have suffered sexual violence.”
The victim’s mother said: “McLean’s disgusting decision to appeal was typical of his cowardly game-playing and complete disregard for the effects on my daughter.
“He is a pathetic man and we are so relieved that he must now do his time and can no longer cause any more pain and distress.”