Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Judge adjourns child rape trial

Several things jump out from this article.

1. One wonders if Ms. Dunsmore was offered a deal for a reduction of her sentence for her testimony.

2. Almost 20 years between when this incident is supposed to have occurred and the trial for one of the men, and between 15 and 22 years for the other. How can anyone mount a defense after that amount of time?

The trial of two men accused of raping a 10-year-old girl at a Perthshire caravan park has been adjourned after a key witness retracted her testimony.

Caroline Dunsmore, 46, had told the High Court in Dunfermline that she had watched television as her daughter, Dana Fowley, was raped in a bedroom.

However, under cross-examination, she said her initial testimony in this case had been a "mistake" and was not true.

Neil Kendall and Ian Davidson deny raping Ms Fowley in 1990.

During the second day of the trial, Dunsmore told Mhairi Richards, QC for Mr Kendall, that he had not had sex with Ms Fowley.

She told Ian Paterson, solicitor advocate, for Mr Davidson: "I never saw anyone having sex with my daughter Dana."

On Friday, Dunsmore had described to prosecutor Joanna Cherry QC how Ms Fowley was raped by the two men after being encouraged to by her former husband William King.

She also told the court that she had had sex with Mr King while Dana was raped in the same room.

Dana Fowley has waived her right to anonymity in the case.

However, during re-examination, Ms Cherry asked Dunsmore: "Why have you changed your evidence?"

Dunsmore replied that she had made up the events at the caravan park "probably because I was scared of Paul" - a reference to Ms Fowley's current partner Paul Kernachan.

Ms Cherry asked her: "You have given two different accounts - which is the true version?"

Dunsmore replied: "I never seen it."

Special defence

Dunsmore, who is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for her part in abuse of her daughter, broke down in tears as she recalled her own role.

She said she had gone to the police voluntarily at the start of 2006 to speak about events involving her daughter.

At the end of the interview she was arrested.

She agreed that she had said at the time that she wanted "it all out in the open", remarking afterwards "I'm so happy that it's over".

Mr Kendall, 44, of Citadel Place in Edinburgh, denies raping Dana Fowley while acting with others at the caravan park between 30 April 1990 and 27 June 1990.

He has lodged a special defence of alibi, claiming he was not within the caravan at the time of the rape, and a separate special defence of incrimination, claiming the attack was carried out by three other men.

Mr Davidson, 54, of Murrayburn Place, Edinburgh, denies two charges of rape and two of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards the girl by having sex with Dunsmore in front of her, and forcing her to perform an oral sex act on him.

The alleged offences involving Mr Davidson happened between February 1987 and June 1994 at various addresses in Edinburgh.

He has lodged a special defence of alibi, claiming he was living at various addresses in Manchester at the time.

The trial, before Lady Stacey continues on Tuesday morning.

Thanks to 'Anon for obvious reasons' for the tip.