Councillor said nine-year-old rape victim ‘wanted it to happen’, cop claims

A COUNCILLOR has been accused of telling a police officer that a nine-year-old sex attack victim was asking for it during an outrageous rant about rape.

A police officer has made an official statement claiming William O’Rourke made “alarming and highly inappropriate” remarks in front of witnesses at a council hearing.

The furious officer filed a report to bosses at Strathclyde Police, who have made an official complaint to the Standards Commission for Scotland – governing the behaviour of politicians.

The female officer was giving evidence at a Glasgow City Council disciplinary panel chaired by 72-year-old O’Rourke into the sacking of former care worker David McLintock.

McLintock, who was suspended in 2009, was appealing against dismissal after being charged by police with raping a nine year old girl. He did not face trial and denies the allegation.

The officer who investigated the case told last month’s hearing the procurator fiscal did not proceed because of a lack of witnesses, although the girl was “a credible witness”.

In her witness statement, the 36-year-old officer, who has 16 years experience, said: “My concerns were raised in particular by some of the questions asked and comments made by Councillor O’Rourke.

“Councillor O’Rourke asked if force was used during the incidents. I told him , ‘No,’ and his was reply was, ‘So she wanted it to happen’.

“I replied that she was a child and was unable to give consent. I also briefly covered the grooming process and its associated elements.

“He began a rant on the age of consent and how it should be lowered, commenting on the promiscuity of children and their modern provocative dress sense, He further commented that you could walk into any high school and observe girls in short skirts coupled with their promiscuous behaviour thus giving weight to his argument about lowering the age of consent.

“Councillor O’Rourke continued his inappropriateness when discussing the complainer, commenting on her chaotic previous lifestyle at the hands of her prostitute mother.

“He hinted that she was not a typical innocent nine-year-old but was sexually older than her years and conveyed the attitude that it was not as bad to commit crimes of this nature on a child with this background.”

The officer reported the matter to a detective chief inspector when she returned to work three days later. In her witness statement, she concluded: “I found Councillor O’Rourke’s comments alarming and highly inappropriate.

“He had little understanding of child protection issues and again very little understanding of grooming and the process of sexual abuse.”

The decision to dismiss McLintock was upheld. He has been suspended by the Social Services Council since October 2009. An SSC committee imposed another nine month suspension in January while the case continued.

At his home in Pollok, O’Rourke – who has been a Labour councillor since 1996 and sits on Strathclyde Police Authority – denied making the remarks.

He said: “I have just received a phone call saying a complaint had been made against me but this is absolute rubbish – I would never make that type of comment.

“I categorically deny saying anything like that during the hearing.

“I have no idea why this officer would have complained that I made these remarks.

“All I can say is, it’s her opinion – it’s certainly not mine. There were three of us on the disciplinary panel and I will have colleagues who will back me up.”

Strathclyde Police confirmed they had submitted a report to the Standards Commission for Scotland.

Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson said: “I am deeply concerned. There will be a full investigation.”

Yesterday, Councillor Jim Todd, who was at the meeting, declined to comment. Councillor Jim Scanlon, who was also there, could not be contacted.

Two years ago, O’Rourke opposed a vote to ban a lapdancing club from calling itself a “gentleman’s club” in adverts.

And in 1997, a 38-year-old secretary alleged he regularly embarrassed her in front of others with his remarks.

O’Rourke has also been criticised for expenses claims and overseas junkets.

O’Rourke: I can hardly remember details

We phoned William O’Rourke at home yesterday when he said he wanted to check records of the meeting last month, adding: “I still deny it.

“I would need to find the minute first of all.

“It’s so long ago actually, you know, and I don’t know if I’ve been taken out of context or not, I don’t know. It’s not something I would say, you know, in the context that it’s been described, that’s for sure.

“I’ve already told you, I have not admitted to anything, OK, full stop.

“I will check the minute of the meeting and we’ll see what the minute says.

“You can’t do that at the weekend.

“I don’t know if they’re verbatim, I don’t know. Well, there is always notes taken at a meeting. I’m not saying it’s a minute, I’m saying it’s notes and I would have to check these notes.

“I can hardly even remember the details of this case, quite frankly.

“When was this case, do you know? I don’t remember saying anything even closely related to that.

“It’s up to the people who were there to have their opinions, I’ll have mine.

“I would certainly like to know who you spoke to certainly.

“That doesn’t mean to say what they’re saying is true.

“Surely I will have some redress.”