Former university student sues man cleared of raping her two years ago

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
T he woman, known only as Miss M, is suing Stephen Coxen through the civil courts (Wikipedia)

A woman has launched a civil case against a man who was cleared of raping her at a trial two years ago.

The former St Andrews University student, known only as Miss M, is suing Stephen Coxen for personal injury in the landmark case.

Mr Coxen was charged with raping the student at her flat while she was drunk during freshers’ week in 2013.

However, the jury at a 2015 High Court trial found the case against Mr Coxen not proven – a verdict which is the same effect in law as not guilty.

Miss M is now seeking just under £100,000 in damages and financial losses in her action filed through the civil courts.

The former St Andrews University student said she was raped during freshers’ week in 2013 (Wikipedia)

The Scottish Legal Aid Board is funding Miss M’s costs in the case, which is due to begin in March.

Her decision to seek compensation through the civil courts comes after Denise Clair won a civil case against footballers David Goodwillie and David Robertson when the Crown decided against prosecuting them.

The judge in that case found the rapes did happen and Ms Clair won £100,000 damages from the two men.

Miss M told BBC Scotland: ”I feel that the criminal case did fail me and I hope that through this a spotlight will be shone on the process.

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“Hopefully the civil route will get some justice for me and my family.”

Civil cases must prove something happened “on the balance of probabilities” – a lower burden of proof than in criminal cases.

Sandy Brindley, the chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland, said: “The civil route is not easy but it does give some possibility of justice.”

Mr Coxen’s lawyers confirmed he would be defending the action but declined to comment further.