Friday, April 23, 2010

Airdrie mum’s “living hell” at false rape allegations

I'm going to let this one speak for itself.

THE mother of a young man who was the victim of a bogus rape claim has told of her “living hell” while her innocent son was locked up for a year.

Tearful Lindsay Duncan from Gartness in Airdrie suffered the torment of seeing her boy’s life being threatened when he was behind bars.

For 12 long months, as 22-year-old Jason was remanded in Addiewell and Barlinnie jails, his mother went through a nightmare. It was as if she had been in prison with him.

Lindsay knew he had committed no crime and was bolstered by the overwhelming support of friends and work colleagues.

But the long wait for his innocence to be proved in a court of law was almost unbearable, especially as she knew what Jason was going through behind bars.

“It was a living nightmare to start with and it just got worse and worse,” she told the Advertiser. “He was taken to Addiewell and had boiling water thrown over him and razor blades thrown at him. They tried to set him on fire.

“They moved him to Barlinnie and I was horrified. It’s a nightmare to see your son in a place like that.

“He was put in a sex offenders unit and in some ways he was safer there, but he was in with some terrible people.”

Jason was falsely accused – along with pal Chris Hoey – of raping a woman at knifepoint in March 2009.

At a High Court trial in Falkirk last month a jury took just one hour to find the pair not guilty.

Lindsay, who was in court that day, felt a mixture of relief and joy when she heard the verdict and ran to cuddle her son and lead him from court just seconds after the judge told him he was free to go.

It was a long journey from the day the nightmare began to unfold for both Jason and Chris, whose story we told last month.

Lindsay recalled the moments it all started, when police came to her home and arrested Jason.

“It was horrendous. It was quarter past three and the police came to the door and grabbed him and put him up against the wall. There was about five of them. They took him away and he had no shoes on. They were completely rude to me and wouldn’t answer any questions and then eventually said they were going to charge him with rape.

“It was unbelievable. I thought ‘they’ve got the wrong person’. It was surreal.”

With Jason locked up and charged with such a serious offence, Lindsay is sure some people thought the worst.

But the support of family, friends and colleagues in the HR department of call centre firm beCogent helped her get through it.

“My mum phoned everybody she knew to tell them what was going on and they were all quite supportive. I had nothing but absolute support, especially from my colleagues at work. I am quite sure some people jumped to conclusions, but people who know Jason knew he couldn’t have done that.”

Lindsay is still furious at the woman who put her son through such an ordeal. She would now like to do something to help change the law to try to stop false allegations of rape getting to court.

“There is still a great deal of anger,” Lindsay admitted. “I think she is the lowest of the low and she is doing genuine rape victims no favours whatsoever.

“It is hard enough for women who have genuinely been raped to have the confidence to come forward.
“I want to do something that will help make sure other mothers don’t have to go through what I have gone through.

“I am not sure what I can do, but I would back calls for the woman to be named if the man is found not guilty. That would be a start.”