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Scotland player David Goodwillie's 'total and utter hell' over rape charges

Charges against the Blackburn Rovers striker David Goodwillie were dropped by the Crown earlier this year.

David Goodwillie: The Scotland striker spoke about his rape charge 'hell'.
© SNS Group

Scotland footballer David Goodwillie has spoken of the "total and utter hell" he experienced after being accused of raping a woman at a house party.

The Blackburn Rovers striker was charged with the serious sex offence following a New Years party Armadale, West Lothian.

In July this year the former Dundee United player had the charges against him dropped by the Crown. He has now given his first interview about being charged, while he branded the accusation "complete nonsense".

Stirling-born Mr Goodwillie said: "It had been total and utter hell, the worst moments of my life. It was a dark time. When I think back to January everything was looking good and then my life stopped after the accusation was made.

"It's the end of the world when something like that happens to you. It was the lowest time of my life and what followed was an inquiry which took an eternity but which cleared me of any wrongdoing."

The 22-year-old said his family "believed in him completely" as he struggled to cope with the accusations. He added: "I had great support from them all. We have always been close and this has brought us even closer.

"I have a sister and, as a brother, I obviously worry. I know people out there will say there's no smoke without fire. The whole thing was a complete nonsense from start to finish. I did nothing wrong. I had terrible dark times too and was aware that if this went the wrong way I would be in serious trouble.

"My life, my reputation, my career would all have been lost. When you are in that kind of a dark place you think your world is at an end. This is not the kind of experience you would wish upon your worst enemy."

The 24-year-old woman who accused Mr Goodwillie recently won an £11,000 payout after the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority ruled she had been attacked.

Goodwillie's lawyer Liam O'Donnell said on Friday that the decision was "quite remarkable". He added: "My concerns are straightforward and based on several questions. There were two very important witnesses who gave long and detailed statements to the police and Crown.

"Did the compensation authority have all the CCTV evidence, the text message evidence, the phone records and the significant witness statements? Finally, did they actually consult with Crown counsel who threw out the allegations?"

Goodwillie's QC Paul McBride called for the authority to have a re-think on how damages are awarded. Mr McBride said: "I want to know if this woman is being paid £11,000 for not being raped what is he getting for not being guilty? She gets anonymity and money. He gets publicity and obscene chants at football matches calling him a rapist. It is now time the issue of damages for wrongful allegations was reconsidered."

Derek Ogg QC, the former head of the sex crimes unit, said the decision by the authority to make a pay-out was a "shock". Mr Ogg added: "Had I been contacted, as the person who was head of the sex crimes unit, I would have told them it had been my recommendation not to proceed with the case.

"It had been independently assessed by the most senior prosecutors in the country before a decision was taken by the Lord Advocate due to the high profile nature of the case."

Goodwillie made his Scotland debut in a friendly against the Faroe Islands last November and was named the Scottish young player of the year last season.

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