HC Deb 17 July 1985 vol 83 cc311-2
39. Dr. Godman

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland against how many people proceedings have been instituted for rape and related offences in the last three months.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

Proceedings were taken against 76 people in April, May and June.

Dr. Godman

During the course of a recent rape trial in the High Court at Paisley. the names and addresses of the the two accused were published in the Greenock Telegraph. Does the hon. and learned Gentleman agree that, in the interests of fairness, the names and addresses of the accused in rape trials should not be permitted to be published unless or until they are found guilty?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I have seen the press reports to which the hon. Gentleman refers, but I see no breach of the law in the way in which publication was made in the journal concerned. However, the hon. Gentleman will be aware that during our proceedings on the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Bill, we considered that very matter in Committee. A new clause was moved to deal with it but, after consideration, it was withdrawn. Provision is made for the anonymity of complainers, but in Scotland, if the accused are adults, the giving of names and addresses is permitted.