Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rape conviction quashed by judges

Several things jump out from this story:

1. She was 15 and "extremely intoxicated."

2. None of her descriptions matched Mr. Uttley

3. No DNA of Mr. Uttley was ever found, but 3 other men's DNA was. Sounds like she had a busy night.

4. The final sentence of this story, is one of the most frightening things I've ever read:  "The Crown asked for time to consider the judgement over whether to make a motion for a new prosecution."

So, the Crown is considering retrying the case, even though the court of appeals thinks this was a "miscarriage of justice."

The moral of the story? As sad as it is, being a good Samaritan is a good way to go to prison in today's society. It may be a better idea to just walk away and not help.

Desmond Uttley has conviction overturned.

A man who was jailed for rape after going to the aid of a drunken teenager in Edinburgh has been declared a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

Desmond Uttley was sentenced to six years in jail after he was found guilty of raping the 15-year-old girl in 2002.

However, after hearing new evidence, judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal overturned his conviction.

The 35-year-old had denied raping the schoolgirl at his Lochend Gardens home on 14 June in 2002.

He had stood trial at the High Court in Glasgow later that year.

The girl had been out with a 14-year-old male friend and both been "extremely intoxicated" after drinking cider.

She was unable to stand without help and was lying on the road in the pouring rain when Mr Uttley arrived on the scene and helped her friend to pick her up.

He invited them both back to his house and carried the girl to his home where he laid her on a bed and she fell asleep.

During Mr Uttley's trial she identified him as her attacker, although she had given the police two descriptions of her assailant, neither of which matched him.

After jurors retired to consider their verdict, they returned to the court with questions over whether tests were carried out on swabs taken from the teenager, and if Mr Uttley's DNA was present on them.

The trial judge, Lord Menzies, told them there was no DNA evidence in respect of those swabs.

The appeal court heard that no blood or semen was found on the swabs from the teenager and they were not submitted for DNA testing.

Three men
 Mr Uttley's defence lawyers on Thursday led evidence at his appeal from a Strathclyde University forensic science lecturer, Dr Adrian Linacre, who was asked to examine swabs taken from the teenager in 2004.

He carried out a particular type of DNA analysis on the Y chromosome, which was different from the standard genetic fingerprinting test.

He found no DNA matching Mr Uttley, but did find there was some from three other male sources.

Lady Dorrian said: "We are satisfied that the verdict, returned in ignorance of this evidence, must be regarded as a miscarriage of justice."

The Crown asked for time to consider the judgement over whether to make a motion for a new prosecution.

Thanks to gwallan for the tip.