A FORMER MSP who campaigned to help the woman raped by David Goodwillie has said he is “sickened” by the political uproar generated from the player’s signing with Raith Rovers.
Neil Findlay, a Labour MSP who stood down in May, was one of the few politicians who helped Denise Clair during her years of torment trying to secure a conviction against the footballer for raping her.
Ms Clair, a constituent of Mr Findlay, was forced to take a civil case against Goodwillie and his former teammate David Robertson, finally securing a verdict that she was raped by the pair in 2017 – six years after the attack.
Former Lothian MSP Mr Findlay said those outraged by his move to Raith Rovers, which has this morning been retracted, should be questioning why they did nothing to help Ms Clair at the time and why they have stayed silent in the five years since the civil court ruling.
Goodwillie has played with Clyde FC since 2017, rising to the position of team captain in 2019.
Speaking to the Herald, Mr Findlay explained: “I’ve found the last few days sickening.
“This case is a scandalous case and all the politicians jumping on the bandwagon should now be asking why no criminal case was taken against him at the time.”
In 2011, Ms Clair was told by the Crown Office there was not enough evidence to prosecute Goodwillie and Robertson for raping her.
In 2014, Former First Minister Jack McConnell, former Labour MSP Graeme Pearson and Mr Findlay called for the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland to explain why he had chosen to drop the case.
In 2018, Labour MSP Elaine Smith questioned Mr Mulholland’s successor James Wolffe about the decision, who said “the approach when considering a prosecution is different from that which applies in a civil case”.
Mr Findlay said the recent condemnation of Raith Rovers for signing Goodwillie is justified, but not when those in power had done nothing to help in the past.
He said: “We see David Goodwillie playing football for five years and no-one seemingly giving a damn.
“Now, suddenly because he moves to another club with a celebrity fan, rightly condemning her club for their defence of someone who committed such a horrible crime, this suddenly becomes a major political issue.
“Where were all of these people when the Crown Office completely failed the victim of Goodwillie, by refusing to prosecute, forcing her to take a civil case?”
Raith Rovers announced this morning that Goodwillie was no longer going to be playing for the club, following backlash from politicians and fans.
Crime writer Val McDermid announced she was ending her life-long support for the club, while two of the Kirkcaldy club’s directors and the captain of its women’s team have also resigned in protest.
Nicola Sturgeon and Gordon Brown also condemned the signing this week.