Falkirk Herald, 12 February
A TRAUMATISED victim of an alleged rape was locked up after she broke down in court while giving evidence. Now the judge who ordered the woman be arrested and held in a police cell overnight has come under fire. Critics said his treatment of the woman, who lives in the Falkirk area, was “appalling” and “inexcusable”. An urgent investigation has been launched by the Crown Office into Sheriff Roger Craik’s decision.
Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie said: “This is like punishing the victim. I will be writing to the Crown Office demanding answers. The number of rape cases which get to court in Scotland is very low and for this woman to have got to this stage then be treated in this way is appalling. It is totally unacceptable to deal with a vulnerable witness in this way. An alleged victim of rape should be treated with understanding and respect.”
Also see Inquiry after judge jails sex abuse case witness who tried to flee court (Scotsman, 8 Feb)
and Fury as sheriff has traumatised alleged rape victim locked in cells overnight (Daily Record, 7 Feb)
Cathy speaks to PCS representative Hamish Drummond
Representatives of the 19 tax offices threatened with closure have lobbied MSPs to get their support for a campaign to reverse the closures that have been announced. On 4 December, HMRC announced it will close offices in Ayr, Buckie, Dumfries, Dunfermline, Dunoon, Elgin, Falkirk, Galashiels, Grangemouth, Greenock, Hawick, Inverness, Oban, Perth, Peterhead, Prestwick, Rothesay, Stirling and Wick. With the exception of Inverness, these closures will shut down the only HMRC Office in each location.
The photograph shows Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie talking to Hamish Drummond, who represents Revenue and Customs offices on the PCS union executive.
“I am opposed to the closures, and think that it would be particularly short sighted to close both the local offices in the vicinity of the busiest port in Scotland. This removes a valuable deterrent to criminals and the shadow economy, and reduces HMRC’s efficiency as a collector of taxes.
“Officers will still have to travel to Grangemouth – but may have to travel to work elsewhere and then coming back here as part of their working day! We should be looking for ways to reduce travel, for the sake of the environment, for the sake of the people involved, and for the sake of a better service.
“The PCS locally and nationally can count on my support.”
Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that Scotland’s good record of support for Domestic Abuse, Rape and related services is not allowed to fall by the wayside.
Commenting on a new report highlighting the postcode lottery of services, Cathy said:
“The Map of Gaps is extremely worrying. The pioneering work that Scotland has been recognised for is in danger of being undone because the government has lost its focus on the problem. Services are already patchy – and in some areas, non-existent. That is likely to become worse.