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Drink-spiking charity points out 'the trauma accusers of date-rape face in making allegations'.

A CHARITY that helps the victims of drink spiking said Louise Watkins' experiences were becoming more and more frequent throughout the UK.

The Roofie Foundation are a specialist agency that travels the country helping women with issues surrounding drug rape, sexual abuse, drink spiking and date rape.

Chief executive Graham Rhodes said magistrates and judges needed to be made aware of the scientific side-effects of date rape drug. He said: "This exact type of case has happened before.

"What has happened here is that a date rape drug has been used, but there has been no sexual activity afterwards.

"That often leads the victim to feel aggressive and can completely change your character in the extreme, manifesting itself as violence."

Mr Rhodes said he was glad the magistrate had been suitably lenient to Miss Watkins, but added that he would have happily acted as an expert witness if her defence team had asked. He said: "We have acted as expert witnesses in exactly these types of case, and Louise's defence should have got in touch with our organisation.

"What Louise has been through is incredibly traumatic - because you are standing trial for something you simply cannot remember.

"Anybody that suffers in this way needs to be given professional help to get over it."

"I think you have been punished enough. This is a person who is a normal, responsible and decent member of society and, for whatever reason, has acted irrationally. I want you to drawa line under this. Try and forget about it after today"

District judge Jill Watkins

CAPTION(S):

DRINK DOCTORED: Louise Watkins told the court she thinks her drink was spiked when she stepped outside for some fresh air
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 16, 2008
Words:283
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