• STV
  • MySTV

Rape evidence dismissed after 'tainted' police report

The judge said that the accused only gave evidence after being mislead by police.

Trial: Jake Hawkins was on trial for rape at the Edinburgh High Court.
Trial: Jake Hawkins was on trial for rape at the Edinburgh High Court. STV

Evidence in a rape trial was dismissed after a judge branded a police officer an "evasive and not credible" witness.

Judge Lady Scott revealed that she had barred the jury from hearing Jake Hawkins, 22, police interview after calling the questioning of him "wholly improper".

Mr Hawkins was found not guilty of raping a woman at a property in Dundee in August 2016.

Mr Hawkins was advised by his solicitor to answer "no comment" to all questioning, but Judge Scott said the interview was inadmissible after ruling that police had sought to "undermine" that decision.

Mr Hawkins told the court that police made him feel his solicitor "didn't care or know what he was doing" and that the person who had given him advice before his interview was "rubbish and didn't know what was going on".

As a result, after more than an hour of maintaining his right to silence, Hawkins said he "didn't know whether he could trust his lawyer" and that he was "making a bad decision listening to the solicitor".

He then told officers "it seemed wrong saying no comment" before giving a lengthy narrative of "incriminatory" statements to police.

But judge Scott ruled the interview was "tainted" because of "undue pressure" applied to Hawkins.

She said statements given by accused people must be "spontaneous and voluntary" and that the Crown "had not established this interview was fair and the statements made can properly be said to be voluntary".

In a 12 page written report, the judge blasted one officer - identified only as DC Anderson of Tayside Division in Dundee - and said police had effectively "cross examined" Hawkins, a tactic long ruled illegal.

'I did not find DC Anderson a credible witness.'
Judge Lady Scott

The judge wrote: "I did not find DC Anderson a credible witness.

"On occasions he did not always directly answer questions and he shifted his position (for example as to whether he had misled the accused).

"I found him evasive and in particular I found his denial that he sought to undermine the legal advice given, not credible.

"I accepted the evidence of the accused.

"In particular I accepted that he understood the statements made about his solicitor was that the solicitor gave him bad advice and the effect upon him was he did not know whether he could trust him."

Lady Scott added that Hawkins was asked 213 separate questions about the alleged rape - and had replied "no comment" to each one.

The detectives insisted they were "impartial" - but then told Hawkins they believed he was responsible for the rape and knew he had done wrong.

They also told Hawkins his lawyer didn't know what evidence they had against him - which the cops knew was a lie.

She added: "On repeated occasions and at length, the police suggested to the accused he should reconsider the advice of his solicitor to make no comment.

"Although the police also told the accused it was his right or choice not to answer, the admitted purpose behind these statements was for the accused to change his position and the way this was done constituted pressure.

"Within this statements were made to the accused about his solicitor and the legal advice given.

"This included the suggestion that the solicitor did not know what the evidence was, which was a suggestion the interviewer knew had no factual basis.

"Here there did not appear to be any other purpose for making these statements, other than to undermine the legal advice in the effort to get the accused to depart from it.

"It should be obvious to the police that to seek to undermine a solicitor's advice to a suspect is wholly improper."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.