Policeman ‘laughed’ when asked about rape allegations, court hears

Martyn Coulter, 36, is accused of raping a woman and assaulting her three times, and raping a girl under 13.

Suspended policeman Martyn Coulter ‘laughed’ when asked about rape allegations, Edinburgh High Court hears SNS Group

A police officer accused of raping a young child “laughed” when he was faced with the allegations in a police interview, a court has heard.

Martyn Coulter, 36, is accused of raping a woman and assaulting her three times between June 2013 and November 2014 at addresses in East Lothian and Edinburgh.

He is further charged with raping and sexually assaulting a girl under 13.

One charge of threatening behaviour was dropped by the Crown.

Coulter is currently suspended from his role as a police officer.

The court was shown a recording of Coulter’s initial police interview in September 2020 after he was arrested for the alleged offences.

Coulter, giving evidence as a defence witness, was asked by Advocate Depute Kath Harper what he was doing during the interview and it was put to him that he had been laughing.

He answered: “I’m crying in shock.”

“Not laughing?” Ms Harper asked, to which he repeated: “I’m crying in shock.”

The court was shown three other instances where Coulter appeared to be laughing where accusations a child and a woman had made about him were being put to him by police officers.

Ms Harper asked: “What were you doing?”

Coulter responded: “I’m laughing in disbelief.

“I’m in utter shock at the accusations. Total bewilderment.”

Ms Harper said: “Was it funny?”

To which Coulter replied: “No, it wasn’t funny at all.”

The court also heard a police asking Coulter about occasions where he would get angry and “go red in the face” with interviewing officers noting this behaviour throughout the interview.

During questioning from his defence agent, Ian Duguid KC, Coulter was asked about allegations of him throwing a young child against a radiator “near a door” at an address in Dunbar in 2014.

Mr Duguid presented to the court a sales brochure for the house which showed a radiator under a window.

He asked Coulter if there were any other heaters or radiators to which he replied that there was no other radiator in the living room.

Coulter denies all of the charges and had lodged special defences of being in England on an army training course between September 6 and 21 2013.

The court will hear closing speeches before Lady Drummond on Monday.

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