Doctor in dock over alleged rape of woman

Dr Christopher Rowlands at a previous appearance at Hamilton Sheriff Court. Photo: Pressteam Scotland
Dr Christopher Rowlands. Photo: Pressteam Scotland

Former South Mainland doctor Christopher Rowlands appeared on trial at the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday to deny raping a woman in an attack that she claimed left her “frightened for her life”.

The woman told a jury how Dr Rowlands, 53, had sex with her after beating her up at a house in Lanarkshire in September 2007.

The 39-year-old said Dr Rowlands once ran a surgery in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, but had been suspended. She got to know him through his wife, a client at her former business.

She said that some time around August 2007 Dr Rowlands told her he was going to work as a doctor in the British army. “He actually told me that he was a captain in the SAS. He did not discuss it but said that he was working abroad as a doctor.”

Around that time she fell ill and ended up in hospital, later contracting C-difficile.The woman said Rowlands came to collect her on 14th September 2007, telling staff he was a doctor and could look after her “properly”. The pair then went back to a house in Bothwell, Lanarkshire.

The following afternoon there was an argument over Dr Rowlands drinking vodka and coke and texting her two children about “house rules”. She said: “I told him that he might be in the army, but they were not soldiers. I picked up his glass and threw what was in it at his face.”

She claimed Dr Rowlands then “floored” her with a punch between the eyes and assaulted her, banging her head off the ground. “I opened my eyes and I was nearly at the top of the stairs being dragged up by the hair.”

She said she was then pulled into the bedroom where she was raped. Afterwards she tried to grab a phone but Dr Rowlands had put them all in his pockets. “I wanted to call the police. I had never come in and out of consciousness before and never had a beating like that.”

She claimed Dr Rowlands said there was “no evidence” to prove what had happened and that she could get out of the room if she was “a good girl”.

The woman said he left the next morning and then contacted her by phone while she was in hospital days after the alleged attack: “He told me not to go to the police but I told him that it was too late. The quicker the police got him, the better for me. I was angry. He left me for dead. He nearly left my children without a mother.”

She said Dr Rowlands used “a rough towel” to wipe blood away after she was allegedly assaulted. The trial, before Judge Norman Ritchie QC, continues.


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