Jan 20 2012 by Colin Rutherford, Kilmarnock Standard
A FORMER prison officer walked free from the High Court in Kilmarnock last week after being tried for rape for a second time.
The charge against 30-year-old John Cameron Lawson – known as Cameron – was found not proven.
The High Court jury – who returned a majority verdict – did not know that this was the second time that Cameron had been tried for the same alleged rape.
In 2009 he was jailed for four-and-a-half years after being found guilty of carrying out the attack at his home in Ardbeg Avenue in May 2002.
But in December 2010 Cameron appealed against the conviction and a retrial was ordered.
During his new trial the alleged victim told the court that she was so traumatised she could not face speaking to police.
She said that she attended more than 60 counselling sessions and told her doctor what had happened before she eventually reported the alleged attack.
Lawson denied stripping the woman, placing a hand over her mouth and raping her.
The first trial was told that the woman was sexually assaulted after she passed out following a drinking session.
She claimed that she was attacked when she woke up screaming in terror.
Last week’s verdict provoked an emotional reaction in court, with sobbing by relatives and friends of both the accused and the woman concerned.