Rapist's lawyer Lorenzo Alonzi 'repeatedly crossed the line' when questioning victim Ellie Wilson

A rape survivor who was left feeling "traumatised" by her attacker's lawyer in court now feels vindicated after a complaint against his behaviour was upheld by the Faculty of Advocates.

Ellie Wilson, 26, lodged a complaint against defence advocate Lorenzo Alonzi following the trial of Daniel McFarlane at the High Court in Glasgow in 2022.

McFarlane, Ms Wilson's ex-boyfriend and fellow University of Glasgow student, was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of two counts of rape between 2017 and 2018 and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

The Faculty of Advocates complaints committee last week ruled Mr Alonzi's behaviour amounted to "unsatisfactory professional conduct" on five of 10 issues raised.

The committee accepted that Mr Alonzi "repeatedly crossed the line" despite numerous interruptions from the trial judge.

They said the "repeated nature" of the conduct took it beyond what the committee considered excusable or inadvertent.

Ms Wilson, who has waived her right to anonymity, told Sky News she now feels vindicated.

She said: "I came out of court traumatised, frankly, and I felt like it shouldn't have happened. It wasn't right.

"I think there's often this attitude in the courts that these sorts of things happen. But I knew it wasn't right.

"So, after all of that, I'm really pleased, and I really hope it sets a precedent."

Ms Wilson complained that Mr Alonzi "acted inappropriately" by asking if she had narcissistic personality disorder, despite having no evidential basis for doing so.

When the trial judge intervened, Mr Alonzi admitted he had not seen a report or diagnosis and was instead basing the question off his own assessment of messages he had seen.

The complaints committee said asking questions without having seen a report or diagnosis by a properly qualified medical professional was "discourteous to the court and abused the privileged position held by the member".

During closing arguments, Mr Alonzi also deliberately referred to matters that had been ruled inadmissible, despite knowing the trial judge would likely then be forced to direct the jury to disregard them.

After McFarlane had been found guilty, Mr Alonzi told the court that his client "fell in love with the wrong person" and that he "doesn't belong here".

The complaints committee branded the remarks "inappropriate" and should not have been made at all.

They said it implied that the jury had come to the wrong decision.

'I felt completely let down'

Ms Wilson said the whole court process was "emotionally taxing" but she knew the trial was going to be difficult.

She said: "What I didn't expect was for all sorts of irrelevant things to be pulled up in court, you know, to be accused of being promiscuous and having various personality disorders.

"And then at sentencing to be made to feel like I was the one who'd done wrong, even though my rapist had been found guilty.

"I just never expected that. I felt completely let down. And this is a system that's supposed to protect us. It's supposed to bring about justice, and I just didn't feel like that at all."

'These people should be held to account'

The lengthy process of compiling the complaint included studying parts of the law and reading the faculty's code of conduct.

Ms Wilson, who is originally from Edinburgh but lives in Glasgow, also had to Crowdfund to obtain the court transcript in order to corroborate her complaint.

Holyrood has since launched a pilot scheme in which rape and sexual assault survivors from 31 December 2006 can now access their high court case transcripts for free.

Ms Wilson was part of that successful campaign.

Speaking to those who may have suffered similar treatment, she said: "I would say that if a survivor does feel like they've been mistreated in court, and they feel like they have the capacity to pursue a complaint, they should do so because these people should be held to account."

'There's still a lot in the criminal justice system that needs fixing'

The Faculty of Advocates is yet to decide on a punishment for Mr Alonzi. Both parties have two weeks to make submissions.

Ms Wilson is looking for a formal apology and compensation to account for the time she had to take off from work at the Scottish parliament due to "distress" caused by the trial.

Ms Wilson added: "There's still a lot in the criminal justice system that needs fixing, and I'm determined to keep campaigning for change."

A Faculty of Advocates spokesperson said: "The process remains ongoing, therefore it would not be appropriate for faculty to comment on this matter."

Sky News has contacted Mr Alonzi's office for a response.