The alleged victim of Sean Hogg, who had his conviction for raping a 13-year-old quashed because of trial ‘mistakes’, has demanded an apology from the judge.
The woman, now aged 19, has slammed Judge Lord Lake after his error ‘robbed her of justice’ days after Hogg was seen smirking when his conviction was quashed.
Hogg was convicted of raping a 13-year-old on various occasions between March and June 2018, when he was aged 17. He was spared jail by Judge Lord Lake at Glasgow’s High Court in April and was instead given 270 hours of unpaid work.
The accused claimed he was wrongfully convicted of the attacks in Dalkeith Park, Midlothian, and appealed. Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh then quashed his conviction after prosecutors admitted ‘mistakes were made’.
His alleged victim, who cannot be identified, said: ‘I’ve had no apology, no explanation. There is no closure, no comeback on the judge, I’ve just to deal with it.’
A smirking Sean Hogg leaves Edinburgh High court today after having his appeal upheld
The woman, now aged 19, has slammed Judge Lord Lake after his error ‘robbed her of justice’ days after Hogg was seen smirking (pictured) when his conviction was quashed
‘I did everything right, no matter how difficult it was,’ the alleged victim told the Sunday Mail.
She said she told the police what had happened and spoke of the ‘worst day of my life’ to ’15 strangers’ during the trial.
‘I trusted in the legal system at every stage and it let me down,’ she added.
‘At the trial, when I heard the word ‘guilty’ I felt I had some closure and could begin to get on with my life. But because of a mistake it’s been taken from me. I feel robbed because it wasn’t my mistake.’
Hogg, 22, smirked as he left court on Wednesday after being told he would not be subject to a retrial following his acquittal.
His conviction was quashed after an appeal found there was an ‘insufficiency of evidence’ and his defence said Lord Lake did not properly follow the correct legal procedures used in Scotland to establish the guilt of a rapist.
Defence lawyer Donald Findlay, KC told the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that the complainant whose evidence led to Hogg’s conviction had to have her account corroborated.
Mr Findlay said Lord Lake told jurors in his legal directions that the complainant’s evidence could be corroborated by an account of a man who said that she appeared ‘distressed’ following the incident which led to Hogg’s conviction.
The lawyer told the court that it was wrong for Lord Lake to have told the jurors this. He said the witness’s account of ‘distress’ could not corroborate the complainant’s account.
The complainant said she was ‘young and naive’ when the alleged attack took place, and it wasn’t until a friend and her grandmother told her months later that what had happened was rape that she started to understand.
Her grandfather said he assured her to go to the police and ‘trust the law’ as the ‘legal system is there to protect innocent, law-abiding people’.
Hogg was spared jail by Judge Lord Lake at the High Court in Glasgow in April and was given 270 hours of unpaid work
‘But all the legal system has done is let her down,’ he said.
‘Seeing him walking out the appeal court smirking says it all really. I feel like I’ve lied to her and that she will never believe another word I say.’
The complainant’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said his client was ‘devastated’ and added: ‘As far as she is concerned, she came forward. She told the truth. She spoke up.’
Speaking after Hogg’s conviction was quashed, his accuser urged the Scottish Government not to introduce juryless rape trials, as is under consideration.
Why was Sean Hogg allowed to avoid jail?
Sean Hogg was allowed to dodge jail despite being convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl because of new sentencing guidelines.
In Scotland criminals under the age of 25 are treated more leniently because of their alleged brain immaturity.
The guidelines came into effect in January 2022.
The Scottish Sentencing Council recommended a more ‘individualistic approach’ should be taken, looking into a perpetrator’s life experiences.
It said the changes would help reduce reoffending, focusing on rehabilitation instead of punishment.
Hogg was convicted of raping the young girl between March and June 2018, when he was 17.
He was spared by Judge Lord Lake at Glasgow’s High Court in April.
Instead he was handed 270 hours of unpaid work.
But the judge stressed that if he had been over 25 he would have been sent to jail for four to five years.