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Aberdeen man cleared of rape says accusation has ‘ruined his life’

Police officers at Union Terrace Gardens
Police officers at Union Terrace Gardens

A man cleared of raping a woman in Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens has said his reputation 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.

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The High Court in Aberdeen

The seven men and eight women on the jury at the High Court in Aberdeen delivered a majority not guilty verdict yesterday after deliberating for about two hours.

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.

“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.

She told the court they had taken a walk through the gardens, where she alleged he attacked her.

The woman claimed the attack lasted “maybe between 30 and 40 seconds” and had left her “distraught” and “disgusted”.

Mr Sangster, 29, 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.

During closing speeches, 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”.

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