Scotland's David Goodwillie to defend himself in rape trial
A PROFESSIONAL footballer told a judge today that he would be defending a damages claim brought by a woman who alleges he raped her.
Former Scotland striker David Goodwillie spoke one word during a brief appearance as he stood in court flanked by senior counsel for the other parties in the case.
Lord Armstrong said to him: “I take it by your presence you wish to insist on your defence in this action.” The player replied: “Yes.”
The Court of Session in Edinburgh was told that the solicitors previously representing Goodwillie had withdrawn from acting prompting the striker’s personal appearance on his own behalf.
Lord Armstrong told Goodwillie, 27, that it was open to him to seek other lawyers to act for him and that the Law Society of Scotland could assist.
The judge said there was an issue that may arise if the footballer continued to be unrepresented relating to him questioning the woman in cross-examination who has brought the action.
“If it is thought appropriate that arrangements or adjustments could be put in place I will obviously consider that,” Lord Armstrong said.
Simon Di Rollo QC, for the woman, said the matter had been discussed with her but that it had been on “a hypothetical situation”.
A rape accused in the criminal courts in Scotland would be prohibited from personally quizzing an alleged victim.
Earlier this week Lord Armstrong refused a bid to overturn a decision that the player would set aside £100,000 ahead of the proceedings.
His lawyers had previously agreed to the move to allow the sale of his house in Scotland to go through, but maintained that if the order was not recalled he faced being left without legal representation for the complex and lengthy civil court action because he had no other available funds.
The solicitor advocate then acting for him, Jonathan Nisbet, said the property had been sold but Goodwillie had anticipated receiving a larger sum for it than he did.
He had expected it would sell for £380,000 but went for £340,000 and the mortgage repayment figure was higher than anticipated.
“The net effect is he has been left with £100,000,” he said. Mr Nisbet added: “ The difficulty this presents for him is he has no money other than the £100,000 to pay for his legal representation.”
He said that if the order was not recalled it was likely that his agents would withdraw. It was estimated it would cost about £90,000 for agents and counsel to defend him.
The 30-year-old woman raised a £500,000 damages action against the former Dundee United, Blackburn Rovers and Aberdeen player, who is now with Plymouth Argyle, and another footballer, David Robertson.
The court was earlier told that her lawyers now valued the claim, if successful, at approximately £250,000.
She claims she was raped by both men in the early hours of the morning of January 2 in 2011 at a flat in Armadale, in West Lothian.
The woman said she had been at a bar and nightclub and alleges that she was “visibly and obviously severely intoxicated”. She maintains that when sex took place she was incapable because of the effect of drink of free agreement.
She claims that both men were aware that she was incapable of giving free agreement to the sexual conduct.
Both men deny the allegations and maintain sexual intercourse was consensual.