Leading lawyer warns male students never to have sex with drunk girls
Her comments came after a rape case was dropped against one of her clients
A leading female barrister has warned male students not to risk having sex with a girl who has been drinking, for fear they could end up being accused of rape.
Cathy McCulloch, a lawyer who specialises in sexual offence cases, said: “Even if they have not given the woman the alcohol, if they have watched them take their own alcohol, if that woman appears to be drunk they must not go there.”
Her comments followed the news that the case against her client, who was accused of rape during his third year at Durham University, had been dropped. In December a jury failed to reach a verdict and he had been expected to face a retrial. But on Friday the CPS said it had been decided not to proceed with the retrial.
McCulloch said: “What happened is every young man’s nightmare and we need a campaign to educate them. Young men need to learn that if a woman presents as drunk but gives all the signs, as they see it, of consenting, she can still say later that she was not fit to consent.
“Young men know you cannot put roofies in a girl’s drink, you can’t spike a girl’s drink, but we now need to take things a step further. You cannot have a fuck buddy. It is about whether or not someone can give consent to have their body used in the most intimate act between two human beings.”
The geography student was the third at Durham to be prosecuted for rape in a year but none of the cases have resulted in conviction. Yesterday, Samuel Bunyan admitted sexually assaulting another student while they were sleeping and was jailed for two and a half years.
Durham, along with Oxford, has the highest number of recorded claims of sexual abuse cases of 70 universities that release the information. In the past two years there have been 36 allegations of rape and sexual assault. The university however, put this down to students feeling more comfortable coming forward with their complaints.