I was raped by my ‘best friend’ – he tried to hide his crimes after sinister messages but my bold plan caught him out

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PRESSING record on her phone and carefully placing it in her bag, Ellie Wilson nervously approached the man who raped her. 

After the monster denied it multiple times, the student and athletics champion hoped to catch former “best friend” Daniel McFarlane confessing to his heinous crimes.


ellie wilson snared

McFarlane, of Inverness, Scotland, assaulted Ellie, who has waived her right to remain anonymous, between December 2017 and February 2018.

Following that, he claimed that no one would believe her and later forced a friend to delete messages in which he admitted to doing “despicable” things.

In her secret 2019 recording, she asked McFarlane why he lied about carrying out the attacks, to which he replied, “We’ve already established that I did.”

After a trial at Glasgow’s High Court in July, he was sentenced to five years in prison for two counts of rape and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Ellie, now 25, told The Sun, that she initially “couldn’t accept what Daniel had done” and was being “manipulated” by her former friend.

She said: “I found strength when I had a bit of time away from him and decided I needed concrete proof of the rape because he would go between saying he raped me and saying he never raped me at all.

“He tried to convince me it was all in my head and gaslit me. For my own mental health, I knew I needed to record him admitting what he did.

“I was honestly terrified. I was worried he was going to think something was off, get suspicious and find my phone.

Daniel McFarlane was sentenced to five years in prison in July 2022

“Later, while listening to it, I thought ‘My goodness, it actually worked’ and it became really, really important evidence in court.”

‘Best friend’ to monster

Ellie met McFarlane through student athletics in 2017, describing how they “pretty much became best friends” straight away before he became her coach.

After the harrowing attacks, however, she was left in utter disbelief about what had happened and cried herself to sleep.

She explains how she tried to cut off contact with McFarlane and during that time, he admitted what he had done to a friend.

The court heard he texted the friend to say he had done “despicable” things, before pressuring them to delete the messages.

McFarlane made no admission after being found guilty and continues to deny wrongdoing.

Ellie describes her relationship with him as “emotionally manipulative” and said she could spend long periods of time without speaking to him, only for McFarlane to “worm his way back into my life”.

Cruel twist

In 2019, the emotional toll of what she went through led to a suicide attempt, which required a hospital stay and medical care.

Months later, Ellie decided to secretly record McFarlane admitting to what he had done. In court, he claimed they were “false admissions”.

In 2020, she reported McFarlane to the police, and he was suspended from the University of Glasgow, where they both studied.

After seeing a photo of her attacker at a student sporting event on Facebook, Ellie discovered he had been able to enrol at The University of Edinburgh while awaiting trial.

“I had stopped athletics after reporting Daniel because I was afraid of colliding with him.” “She stated.

“Then, while scrolling through social media, I came across a photo of him from an event where he was wearing a University of Edinburgh vest.

“I assumed the university didn’t know so I emailed them to warn them. I was concerned that other female students would become victims.

“Edinburgh got back to me and said they already knew.”

They added: “The strength of feeling around these issues is something the university fully understands.

“We will continue to listen to views on what changes can be made to refine our processes, and help make sure that all students feel safe and protected.”

‘Saw his face on every man’

Not only that, Ellie was then living and working in Edinburgh – and feared their paths could cross.

She said: “It felt like such an injustice. I couldn’t do anything, I was struggling, I had PTSD and life was difficult, while he was able to start again.

ellie wilson snared rapist

Ellie is now working with Universities Scotland and the Scottish Government to find ways to better protect students and ensure their safety and well-being.

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