PORT Elizabeth musician Iain McLaggan was yesterday granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal against his conviction of raping an 18-year-old British tourist at the exclusive Shamwari Game Reserve in 2010.
However, Grahamstown High Court Judge Glenn Goosen simultaneously granted the state leave to appeal against the eight-year sentence for the rape, which senior state advocate Nickie Turner had submitted was too light. Goosen had found substantial and compelling circumstances existed that warranted a lesser sentence than the prescribed minimum sentence of 10 years.
McLaggan, 30, had raped the intoxicated and ill teenage tourist while he had been employed as a game ranger and student coordinator for international travel company World Wide Experience at Shamwari Game Reserve.
The young woman had became intoxicated and ill after drinking alcohol with McLaggan and a group of international students. Goosen found McLaggan had raped her while she was in a deep sleep or unconscious. McLaggan had claimed the sex was consensual.
In granting McLaggan leave to appeal against his conviction, Goosen said another court might possibility come to a different conclusion to his own.
He said his guilty verdict had involved the consideration of the evidence of a single witness on critical aspects.
In granting the state leave to appeal against the sentence of eight years, Goosen found there was a reasonable prospect that another court might find that the mitigating factors he had found to be present did not warrant the imposition of a sentence less than 10 years.
While Goosen granted McLaggan leave to appeal against his conviction, he was sharply critical of the way in which McLaggan's 33-page application for leave to appeal was presented by his lawyers, saying that it had impugned the integrity of the court and its tone indicated a lack of respect for it.