Calls for accuser to be named

Have your say

A MAN cleared of raping a teenager after a night out has today called for her to be named.

Lee Duggan was charged after having sex with the 19-year-old in a Sunderland city centre back alley, as he walked home from the Glass Spider bar.

The 26-year-old, from Red House, said it was consensual and always denied the allegation. He found himself the subject of unwelcome media attention as the case went through the courts, until he was acquitted by a jury.

However, his accuser is granted anonymity under law for the rest of her life – whether the defendant is found guilty or innocent.

Today Mr Duggan said: “I want her to be named.”

He added he was still too upset to speak fully about how the allegation had affected him.

In 1976 the law was changed to grant anonymity to anyone charged with rape in England and Wales, but this was repealed 12 years later.

Governments have said they will look at this law again and there was a pledge to “extend anonymity in rape cases to defendants,” with ministers stressing the need to “protect anyone who may be wrongly accused from harmful stigma”.

However, the plan was dropped last May. Justice Minister Crispin Blunt said he would rather put pressure on the media not to name suspects, than to change the law.