Ex prisoner sobs giving evidence against nurse she accuses of rape

Picture: John Devlin
Picture: John Devlin

A woman cried as she told jurors she was raped in prison by a mental health nurse.

The 28-year-old was today giving evidence at the trial of Peter Barrowman from Stenhousemuir who is accused of rape and giving extra drugs to prisoners.

She told prosecutor Rosemary Guinnane that one day in March 2014 she was summoned to the psychiatrist’s room in the health centre at Corton Vale women’s prison by Barrowman.

Inside the room, she told the court, Barrowman kissed her and then had sex with her. The woman cried as she said: “I kept telling him no.”

She was asked how the incident ended and replied: “He had to go and pick up his wife. He was all smug about going to pick up his wife and said they were going on holiday.”

Giving evidence at the High Court in Glasgow, the former prisoner added: “I had kept saying no to having sex with him. He wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

The woman said she was too numb to scream or hit out at Barrowman and added: “I just wanted back to my block.

“He told us ‘who’s going to believe you over a mental health nurse.’ I kept telling him I didn’t want sex and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Afterwards I was numb. I went back to my room and gret [sic] into my pillow. I was at the weakest point of my life.

“I ended up in prison, but I didn’t deserve what I got from him.”

Under cross-examination by solicitor advocate Liam Ewing the woman admitted she had not told the prison authorities or the police about this until January 2015.

She said: “It wasn’t until I got my life together and got off drugs and realised I’m not just a number, I’m a human being and shouldn’t have been treated like this that I contacted the police.”

The woman told the court that on occasions 35-year-old Barrowman would give her extra tablets in addition to those prescribed for her.

Mr Ewing accused her of lying about that and about being raped by Barrowman, but she said: “I would never make something like this up, never.”

Earlier, a 30-year-old prisoner told the court of a conversation she had with Barrowman in Corton Vale in 2014 when he told her he wanted a threesome with her and another prisoner.

The woman said: “He said he wanted to have a threesome with me and her. He said he would snort cocaine off her bum. He said she had some body on her.”

The 30-year-old told the court that she was given extra medication by Barrowman and added: “He just handed them out of his pocket.

She said that one Gabapentin tablet was worth £5 in the prison and could be used as currency.

The woman also said that during a therapy session in 2009 and 2010 Barrowman had hugged her.

Barrowman denies all the charges against him.

A detective told the court that Barrowman was detained in March 2014 and interviewed at Falkirk police office.

DC Louise Hay said that Barrowman was asked during an interview about two of the women he is alleged to have raped and denied any wrongdoing.

DC Hay said: “He confirmed his occupation and said he knew them through that. He said he had not given them any medicine other than what was prescribed.”

Prosecutor Rosemary Guinnane asked: “Did he confirm he hadn’t had any sexual contact with the women,” and DC Hay replied: “Yes.”

Miss Guinnane then said: “Did he say he enjoyed his job,” and the police officer replied: “Yes. He spoke fondly of his job and said there was a new or different treatment he was trying and spoke at length about it.”

The trial before Judge Sean Murphy continues.