A MAN accused of gang raping a ten-year-old girl as part of a paedophile ring has taken his own life.
Neil Kendall, 48, was found dead at a home in the Oxgangs area last Friday.
His victim, Dana Fowley, said she had been abused by Kendall and another man in her family home while her mother watched TV in the next room.
After receiving news of his death, Ms Fowley said “justice is justice” although she would have preferred to see Kendall convicted of the allegations in court.
The trial against him collapsed in September 2009 after Ms Fowley’s mother changed her evidence on the witness stand, and Ms Fowley raised suspicions that Kendall may have taken his own life fearing he could be tried again under new “double jeopardy” laws.
Police were called to Oxgangs at 3pm last Friday after the discovery of Kendall’s body, and officers confirmed there were “no suspicious circumstances” over the death.
It is understood he hanged himself.
Kendall stood trial on charges of raping Ms Fowley while acting with others at Abernethy Caravan Park in Perthshire, between April 30, 1990 and June 27, 1990.
Ms Fowley, now 33, said Kendall had lived with her family for a number of years as a friend of her father, Billy King, who was also accused of sexually abusing her before his death.
Her mother, Caroline Dunsmore, told police Kendall was among the group of men who abused Ms Fowley.
But as the trial’s key witness, Dunsmore, who facilitated and took part in much of the abuse, denied seeing several men, including Kendall, sexually abuse her daughter.
Ms Fowley’s partner, Paul Kernachan, said: “Dana found out what had happened on Saturday. Her reaction was ‘justice is justice’ and that she was not sorry he was dead. It’s terrible to celebrate when a man has died, but she’s glad it’s over.
“Dana believes he may have been feeling guilty, but more likely he was worried he’d be tried again under double jeopardy.”
Ms Fowley said Kendall began living with her family around 1989. She added that his name at that time was Neil Quinn, and he later changed it to Kendall in a bid to escape his past.
Dunsmore originally testified that she had watched TV as Kendall and another man abused Ms Fowley in the next room. But after returning to the witness stand following the weekend, she said she was “mistaken” and withdrew her evidence.
Dunsmore is serving 12 years for her part in the horrific abuse Ms Fowley suffered.
A police spokesman said: “Police responded after a 48-year-old man was found dead within a property. There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.”
Kendall’s family did not wish to comment on his death.