Warning: The following content may be painful to read.
Eileen Martin and her sister were abused as children by their then teenage uncle.
In the summer of 2019, 40 years later, they found the courage to approach the police and officially report the crime.
They waited three years for the trial to take place and described the final process as “f**k up after f**k up”.
Eileen said the tax attorney’s office repeatedly tried to persuade them not to attend the trial or the verdict.
“We’ve waited all these years for this,” she explained. “They thought that because I had mental health issues, I would be a problem.
“It’s an open court, we went in, and [one of the court workers] said we shouldn’t.
“I asked them ‘why do you think we’re going crazy?’ and they said “that’s my concern”.
On the day of the verdict, she said: “We were in a cafe across the road, we had our phones on the tables waiting to get the call to go back to court, as they said they would. would, and it didn’t happen.”
They eventually returned to court to find that the verdict had been read and the process was over and they had missed it.
Their uncle received a community sentence after being found guilty of two charges of sexual abuse.
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Eileen continued: “It’s not that he wasn’t jailed, it’s the way we were treated.
“Like they don’t remember we were the victims here. This is my life.”
She also added that lawyers for both parties kept saying her name incorrectly.
The charges against her uncle were changed midway through the trial, and Eileen said she and her sister were not kept informed of these changes.
“Nobody seems to be thinking, ‘what would make the experience better for us.’ They just don’t support the victims.”
The day her attacker was convicted and the proceedings ended, Eileen describes it as the first day she felt shame for what had happened.
“I would have killed myself in Edinburgh that day,” she said. “Most child molesters are not stereotypical freaks.
“If you’re a vulnerable child, he can make you feel loved and cared for. That’s how it goes.”
Throughout the process, Eileen said she felt asked “but, what about us?”
Eileen and her sister spent their childhood in an institution and, after being repeatedly abused, gave evidence at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.
A Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) spokesperson said: ‘We understand the impact that involvement in the criminal justice system can have on victims, and all staff are working hard to ensure that ‘they are treated with dignity and respect.
“The plaintiffs in the case were supported throughout the prosecution process by our dedicated Victim Information and Counseling staff.
“Senior COPFS officials have offered to meet with them to discuss their concerns.”
Edinburgh High Court has convicted Reginald Maxwell of two charges of sexually abusing two girls, with the offenses taking place between 1977 and 1980.