THE state had produced enough evidence for the Grahamstown High Court to be legally and morally certain that Port Elizabeth performer Iain McLaggan had raped a British teen in 2010, senior state Advocate Nickie Turner submitted yesterday.
In her closing argument, Turner said the complainant and McLaggan’s versions had been mutually destructive and only one could be true.
McLaggan is charged with raping the intoxicated teen after a night out drinking with a group of young international students at Shamwari Game Reserve near Grahamstown.
McLaggan, the son of Bay auctioneer Neil McLaggan, was a game ranger and student coordinator at the time.
Turner described the young woman as an excellent witness who had not faltered under cross-examination.
McLaggan, on the other hand, had been talkative, arrogant and clearly vexed at having to answer questions during cross-examination. She said his testimony had been entirely at odds with the probabilities.
McLaggan had testified that he had gone to check up on the young woman after she had vomited and suffered seizures in her intoxicated state during the group’s night out. He had found her alert and sitting up in bed. She had kissed him and then had consensual sex with him.
But Turner described this as "highly improbable”. She said the woman had suffered severe seizures, had vomit in her hair and clothing and was most likely feeling groggy, very unwell and not at all amorous.
She said it was clear that McLaggan had found her in a dazed, fragile and vulnerable state and had taken advantage of this to rape her.
But McLaggan’s counsel, Advocate Terry Price, contested this. He said the young woman had been a single witness and her evidence was uncorroborated.
He said she had been disingenuous and her evidence had contradicted her earlier written statements on vital issues. It was most likely that she had regretted and felt shame about the sexual encounter and resorted to accusing McLaggan of rape.
Judge Glenn Goosen said he would deliver judgment on August 20.