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May 14, 2003


From: Glasgow Daily Record, UK - May 14, 2003


Gordon Mcilwraith

POLICE handcuffed and locked up a hysterical deaf mute mum who tried to tell them that she had been raped.

The distraught woman was kept overnight in a cell before a sign language expert was called and the alleged attack discovered.

Yesterday, through a sign language interpreter, the woman told a court: "I was going crazy. The woman handcuffed me because I was upset and crying.

"They did not try to talk to me. They just threw me into a cell and locked me up.

"I was banging the door and crying. I had to sit there all night."

The 44-year-old woman's ordeal was revealed at the High Court in Edinburgh, where 17- year-old James Clark denies rape.

The mum said Clark came to her house in the west of Scotland in April last year and asked for the phone number of her eldest daughter.

She indicated to him to wait at the door but he followed her into the house and' sat down.

She said: "I was frightened and he was laughing and saying 'come on'.

"I pointed to him and indicated with my thumb 'out'.

"He went to kiss me and I pushed him away. Then he pushed me and I fell on to the chair."

The woman said Clark then pulled off her clothes, held his hand over her mouth and raped her.

Her nine-year-old daughter - who had been asleep upstairs - dialled 999.

The mum said the police arrived in the early hours of the morning when she was "quite hysterical".

She added: "It all happened so quickly. The police came in and grabbed hold of me.

"I was struggling because I did not know what they were doing. They handcuffed me and took me away."

The woman said she banged on the cell door to make the officers understand she needed an interpreter.

But she added: "They just shut the hatch and ignored me."

When an interpreter arrived at 9.30am, police were on the point of charging her with being drunk in charge of a child.

But when she revealed the alleged attack, she said a senior officer was "absolutely mad" with his colleagues.

The woman said earlier in the evening she had had two glasses of cider.

She denied suggestions by defence lawyers that she had sex with Clark willingly.

And she rejected a suggestion that she had told lies out of "shame and embarrassment" at having sex with a teenager.

The trial before Lord McEwan continues tomorrow

© Glasgow Daily Record