An Aberdeen man cleared of raping a woman in the city’s Union Terrace Gardens yesterday said his life has been “in ruins” since he was accused of the attack more than three years ago.
Daniel Sangster was found not guilty at the end of a four-day trial.
He was alleged to have raped the woman on March 27, 2016 after meeting her in the priory nightclub in the city centre.
The seven men and eight women on the jury at the High Court delivered a majority not guilty verdict yesterday after deliberating for about two hours.
Speaking after the verdict, Mr Sangster, who works as a project engineer in the oil and gas industry, said he had been “destroyed” by the proceedings.
He said: “I feel very relieved at the outcome and I’d like to thank the jury.
“I don’t believe this case should ever have come to court and feel I’ve been let down by the Crown.
“But it’s over now. It’s finished. They’ve decided that I was not guilty of the allegations made against me.
“I never hid. I always gave the police what they needed, turned-up when I was asked to and cooperated the entire way.
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“But my reputation is ruined, no matter the verdict.”
The woman, who gave evidence via video-link, said she met Mr Sangster in the nightclub before leaving with him to share a taxi home.
She told the court they had
taken a walk through the gardens, where she alleged he attacked her.
She claimed he’d held her hands behind her back and continued with the assault despite pleading with him to stop.
The woman claimed the attack lasted “maybe between 30 and 40 seconds” and had left her “distraught” and “disgusted”.
Mr Sangster denied the assault and his counsel, solicitor-advocate Chris Fyffe, suggested the woman had in fact gone to Union Terrace Gardens intending to have sex with his client.
He suggested that Mr Sangster had rejected her advances before calling her “a nasty word” and leaving, but she insisted that was not the case.
During closing speeches on Thursday, Mr Fyffe told jurors there had been “no sign of dishevelment” of the woman’s clothes and added that medical examiners had found no injuries on her.
He asked them to consider whether the woman’s account was “plausible” or instead “something far-fetched”.