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May 16, 2003

Mute mum spent night in cell after rape claim

From: Glasgow Evening Times, UK - May 16, 2003

A SCHOOLGIRL told a rape trial jury that police would not listen when she told them something "really, really bad" had happened to her deaf mute mum.

The girl, who was aged nine at the time, called officers to her West of Scotland home by dialling 999 from her mobile phone.

Earlier the 44-year-old mum told the High Court in Edinburgh, through a sign language interpreter, about her ordeal when she could not make police understand her allegation.

She spent a night in a cell after being threatened with a charge of being drunk while in charge of her daughter, the court heard.

Speaking over a CCTV link, the girl said she saw accused James Clark, 17, touching her mum and her mum crying.

The court heard that after Clark had left the house, the young girl called the police.

Asked by advocate depute Andrew MacMillan, prosecuting, if she had been able to explain to the police what happened, the girl replied: "Yes, but they just wouldn't listen."

Clark, of 15 Haddington Way, Kirkshaws, Coatbridge, denies raping the mother in April 2002. He claims the woman consented to sex.

The trial continues.