Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Ex-Scotland footballer David Goodwillie will defend rape claim

David Goodwillie Image copyright CIARAN DONNELLY
Image caption David Goodwillie appeared at the Court of Session without legal representation

A former Scotland international footballer has told a judge he will be defending a damages claim brought by a woman who alleges he raped her.

David Goodwillie, who has played for Dundee United and Aberdeen, was not represented by a legal team in court.

Judge Lord Armstrong asked him: "I take it by your presence you wish to insist on your defence in this action?" Mr Goodwillie replied: "Yes."

The player has denied raping the woman at a flat in Armadale, West Lothian.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh was told that the solicitors who previously represented Mr Goodwillie had withdrawn, prompting the Plymouth Argyle striker's personal appearance on his own behalf.

Lord Armstrong told Mr Goodwillie, 27, that it was open to him to seek other lawyers to act for him and that the Law Society of Scotland could assist.

The judge said there was an issue that could arise if the footballer continued to be unrepresented. This related to him questioning, in cross-examination, the woman who has brought the action.

'Severely intoxicated'

"If it is thought appropriate that arrangements or adjustments could be put in place, I will obviously consider that," Lord Armstrong said.

Simon Di Rollo QC, for the woman, said the matter had been discussed with her but that it had been on "a hypothetical situation".

A rape accused in the criminal courts in Scotland is prohibited from personally questioning an alleged victim.

The woman raised a £500,000 damages action against Mr Goodwillie, who has also played for Blackburn Rovers, and another footballer, David Robertson.

The 30-year-old woman claims she was raped by both men in the early hours of 2 January 2011 at a flat in Armadale.

She said she had been at a bar and nightclub and alleges that she was "visibly and obviously severely intoxicated".

The woman maintains that when sex took place she was incapable of free agreement because of the effect of drink.

She claims that both men were aware that she was incapable of giving free agreement to the sexual conduct.

Both men deny the allegations and maintain sexual intercourse was consensual.

Earlier this week, Lord Armstrong refused a bid to overturn a decision that the player would set aside £100,000 ahead of the proceedings.

His lawyers had previously agreed to the move to allow the sale of his house in Scotland to go through.

'Complex action'

But they maintained that if the order was not recalled, he faced being left without legal representation for the complex and lengthy civil court action because he had no other available funds.

The solicitor advocate then acting for him, Jonathan Nisbet, said the property had been sold but Mr Goodwillie had anticipated receiving a larger sum for it than he did.

He had expected it would sell for £380,000 but it went for £40,000 less and the mortgage repayment figure was higher than anticipated.

"The net effect is he has been left with £100,000," he said.

Mr Nisbet added: "The difficulty this presents for him is he has no money other than the £100,000 to pay for his legal representation."

He said that if the order was not recalled, it was likely that his agents would withdraw. It was estimated it would cost about £90,000 for agents and counsel to defend him.

The court was earlier told that the woman's lawyers now valued the claim, if successful, at approximately £250,000.

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