Advertisement

Scottish civil court rules soldier raped woman in landmark case

By Simon Druker
1/2
Scottish civil court rules soldier raped woman in landmark case
A Scottish civil court ruled Thursday that a serving British soldier raped a woman after meeting her at nightclub in 2015. The court awarded her approximately $160,000 in damages. This comes after the charges were found to be "not proven" in criminal trial in 2017. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A civil court in Scotland ruled Thursday, that an active-duty British soldier raped a woman in 2015, after a criminal court in that country found the charges were "not proven."

The civil court awarded the woman, who is only identified by the pseudonym AB, approximately $159,824 in damages, according to court documents.

Advertisement

The ruling is only the second of its kind in recent Scottish legal history, according to The Guardian.

The victim met Sean Diamond, now 28, in a nightclub in July in the coastal city of Dundee, not far from where he was stationed at a military base, according to court records. They later returned to her friend's apartment where the woman fell asleep. She testified that she woke up with Diamond on top of her. She told him to stop and get off of her, but he didn't and she lost consciousness.

RELATED Britain's upper house passes bill to make misogyny a hate crime

She filed a police report the next day and Diamond was prosecuted in 2017.

In the ensuing criminal trial, Diamond claimed the sex was consensual and the court returned a "not proven" verdict, which neither finds a person guilty nor fully exonerates them.

"The way you're treated is literally like you've committed a crime," AB told The Guardian.

Advertisement
RELATED Scotland Yard investigating COVID-19 lockdown parties attended by Boris Johnson, others

A friend convinced her to file a civil suit against Diamond.

"I do not accept the defender's version of what happened in the living room. It is a radically different account of events from that given by the pursuer. It does not account for the pursuer's evidence of apparent loss of consciousness, now attributed to a dissociative state," Sheriff KJ Campbell QC wrote in his ruling.

"It is the cogency of that evidence, which leads me to prefer the pursuer's account of what happened in the living room when she and the defender were the only people present. These strands are supported by the consistent evidence of the pursuer's distress in the early hours of 15 July 2015.

RELATED Biden signs order making sexual harassment an offense under military code

"There was no evidence that the pursuer indicated express consent in any way. As I have indicated above, I do not accept the defender's account of what happened when he and the pursuer were alone. There was no other evidence which might amount to an indication of consent by the pursuer. Accordingly, I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the defender raped the pursuer. That is sufficient to establish liability."

The amount of damages includes a calculation to account for interest since 2015, however the court found money was not a motivating factor.

Advertisement

"It is important to emphasize that this action is of course not an appeal against the decision of a jury in properly constituted criminal proceedings, but it is a separate vindication of civil rights, in a different court, operating a different standard of proof," wrote Campbell.

"No amount of money would remove the memory and the trauma that I've lived with over the last six and a half years," AB told The Guardian.

The victim was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, eventually losing her job. She has since moved to Morocco and gotten married.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement