Lies do victims’ case no good

Gayle Hunter has done women in the Borders and beyond a grave disservice.

Her accusations of domestic abuse against her former partner were – to paraphrase Sheriff Kevin Drummond – a pack of lies. Earlier this week he quite rightly sent her to prison – after all, Hunter’s lies had resulted in a man being held in custody for 16 hours.

Her mother, Elsie, escaped incarceration for her lesser role in the plot with a community payback order.

Let’s make one thing absolutely clear. The vast majority of allegations of domestic abuse, violence or even worse made by women against men are true. Indeed, studies show that many victims don’t report these crimes for fear of not being believed.

To be fair, the police have made strenuous efforts over the years to rectify the situation by adopting a more sympathetic attitude when female victims come forward.

But Gayle Hunter’s “truly wicked” actions could have an adverse effect.

Is it beyond the bounds of possibility that a lay juror – man or woman – might be swayed by this episode when trying a future case, allowing the guilty to go free, despite being urged by judge or sheriff to return verdicts purely on what they have heard in the courtroom?

Something for Hunter to ponder as she languishes in a prison cell.