Family of student who took her own life to sue abusive ex-boyfriend

Family of teenage university student who took her own life after campaign of abuse from her ex-boyfriend launch landmark legal bid to sue him for compensation

  • The 18-year-old law student took her own life just eight days after the attack

The family of a teenager who took her own life have launched a landmark legal case against a student convicted of abusing her.

Emily Drouet, 18, died at New Carnegie Court student halls in Aberdeen in 2016 after being subjected to a campaign of abuse by student boyfriend Angus Milligan.

He later admitted assaulting and abusing her and was sentenced to carry out 180 hours of community service.

Now, Emily’s family have lodged a civil case against him under ‘loss of society’ law, which can be used to claim compensation for the death of a close relative resulting from negligence.

Emily Drouet, who took her own life after being attacked and abused by partner Angus Milligan

Emily’s mother, Fiona Drouet, is listed as one party in the case, which called at the Court of Session on May 30. Milligan is listed as the other.

A judge has yet to decide whether a three-year time bar applies to the case before it can proceed further.

Ms Drouet told the Press & Journal: ‘If successful it would be a landmark case in hopefully ensuring suicides that follow domestic abuse are investigated and the perpetrator held responsible.’

Emily Drouet enrolled on a law degree at Aberdeen University in September 2015 and a month later started dating Angus Milligan, who lived yards from her in halls.

Her parents said they missed warning signs hinting their daughter was suffering early into the relationship.

‘Hindsight is a great thing, looking back there were signs but we put it down to students being tired and partying,’ Ms Drouet said in 2017.

Emily avoided eye contact with her parents when she came home from university, which they say was down to Mulligan’s emotional abuse.

In March 2016, Drouet had sent a text to a friend confessing to engaging in a sexual act with a family friend and member of Milligan’s family, stressing she did not want him to find out.

Milligan then appeared at his girlfriend’s apartment, where he grabbed her by the neck.

Eight days later, she was found dead in her apartment, having taken her own life.

Angus Milligan, who assaulted 18-year-old Emily Drouet after finding out she had engaged in a sex act with one of his relatives and a family friend during their relationship

Milligan appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in May 2017 where he admitted sending Emily grossly offensive and menacing messages, grabbing her by the neck, choking her, slapping her and shouting abuse at her.

By July, he had been sentenced to 12 months’ supervision and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.

He was expelled from Aberdeen University after the conviction, but later given a place at Oxford Brookes University. 

In 2019, Ms Drouet launched a substantial damages claim to show that Miss Drouet ‘isn’t responsible for her death’.

Ms Drouet, who said the campaign isn’t about the money, told The Sun: ‘We want to get justice for her as we feel we didn’t get it through the criminal courts.’ 

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