The appellant, a 72 year old man, was accused of committing sexual offences involving five complainers. The offences occurred between the 1980s and 1990s. The man appealed against the refusal of an application under s.275 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 which sought to illicit evidence that one of the complainers was 17 years old at the time of the events. 
There were eight charges which involved both adult and child complainers. The first two occurred when the child was between 13 and 15 years old. The charges involved lewd and libidinous practices and rape. The appellant had worked in three different schools and pled not guilty to all charges on the indictment. 
The section 275 application relating to charges 1 and 2 and the complainer was coached in athletics by the accused at the time. The details of the charge were that the appellant had raped the complainer to her injury. He had also penetrated her with his fingers and with a banana. Elements of this were disputed by the complainer. 
The appellant stated that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with the complainer. However, this had occurred when she was 17 years old and he was 37. It was argued that this evidence would related to the unreliability of the witness. 
At the Preliminary Hearing the judge rejected the application and was of the view that the appellant was still able to put his defence to the jury that the sexual activity did not occur. It was argued on behalf of the appellant that rejecting the application meant he could only present half of his defence. 
Counsel for the appellant submitted that the dispute was about the time that sexual activity took place, rather than whether it did take place. 
Lord Turnbull in giving the opinion of the court stated: “The complainer disputes that she was in a consensual sexual relationship with the appellant when she was 17. If the evidence is admitted this will inevitably open up a discrete chapter at the trial, focussed on whether the complainer or the appellant is to be believed on this aspect of the case. Such an inquiry would clearly be collateral to the question of whether the Crown is able to prove that the conduct alleged in charges 1 and 2 occurred.”
He continued: “If the appellant is to give evidence of a defence that he was having intercourse with a 17 year old, rather than with a 14 or 15 year old, he will have to explain how this came to happen. On any view that must involve a narrative different from that given by the complainer, which is of grooming from aged 13 with escalating sexual contact.”
As a result, the appeal was refused.