AN AYRSHIRE MSP has welcomed a Scottish Government pilot scheme which will see victims of rape and serious sexual assault able to access their court transcripts for free.

Elena Whitham, who represents Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley and who worked for Women’s Aid before entering politics, has praised the scheme for promoting transparency and fairness.

From March 1, 2024 to March 1, 2025, £100,000 of funding will enable complainers who have had their cases heard in the High Court to apply for the transcripts of what was said in their court cases, free of charge.

SNP MSP Ms Whitham said: “As a former Women’s Aid worker, I understand how distressing the court process can be for victims. It is therefore right the Scottish Government is removing barriers and making the process more transparent and fairer.

“I pay tribute to those in my constituency and beyond who have campaigned for greater fairness and accountability in the process of achieving justice – something that can always be improved.

“The scheme, along with the proposed Victims, Witnesses and Justice Reform (Scotland) Bill is designed to improve victims’ experience and increase confidence in the justice system.

“I encourage all those who are able to do so to make full use of this pilot fund.”