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Man sued for rape declared bankrupt

Stephen Coxen had previously been acquitted in a criminal trial of raping a woman after a night out in St Andrews.

Stephen Coxen, from Bury in Lancashire, was ordered to pay his victim £80,000 (Jane Barlow/PA)
Stephen Coxen, from Bury in Lancashire, was ordered to pay his victim £80,000 (Jane Barlow/PA)

A man who was acquitted of rape but then successfully sued has been declared bankrupt,  meaning he does not have to pay his victim any damages.

Stephen Coxen was accused in a criminal trial of raping a woman in St Andrews, Fife, after a night out in September 2013.

The 24-year-old, of Bury in Lancashire, denied the charges and in November 2015 a jury cleared him on a not-proven verdict in a criminal trial.

Scotland has three verdicts – guilty, not guilty and not proven. Not guilty and not proven have the same result, both being verdicts of acquittal.

After a civil case at the Personal Injury Court in the Edinburgh Sheriff Court building, Sheriff Robert Weir QC later ruled the woman had been raped.

Miss M, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was awarded £80,000 in damages in October.

It has now emerged Coxen was declared bankrupt in February.

She told BBC Scotland: “I don’t think people should just think about this as terrible that he’s made himself bankrupt, because really, I’ve never wanted to go after him for money.

“The whole point of my whole process – my whole fight over the years is really just for a sheriff to say ‘you know he did rape you – this did happen’.”

PA

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