A DRUG dealer who launched a vicious sex attack on a lone student has been jailed for six years for the stranger rape.
Steven Davidson, 24, assaulted his 20-year-old victim as she walked through a popular park in Edinburgh.
A judge told Davidson at the High Court in Edinburgh: “The conduct that you carried out was violent, sexual and very frightening.”
“The woman you attacked was making her way home on a path used by many people in Edinburgh,” said Lady Stacey.
The judge said that the victim was simply going about her life as a student in the city when Davidson struck, causing her injury and anxiety in its aftermath.
She added that Davidson still continued to deny the rape despite the evidence against him and the jury’s verdict at his earlier trial.
She said he had therefore shown neither understanding not remorse for the harm that he inflicted.
The judge praised “a pain-staking police investigation” for bringing the rapist, who has previous convictions for assault, to trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Lady Stacey pointed out he had also been convicted over supplying cannabis and added: “I note controlled drugs have played a large part in your life so far.”
“You continue not only to use them yourself for to supply them to other people,” she said.
Lady Stacey told Davidson, from Gorebridge, in Midlothian: “I have to regard this as a very serious matter this morning. The only suitable disposal is a lengthy period of custody.”
A background report prepared on the sex predator revealed that he posed a risk to the safety of the public.
The judge ordered that he be kept under supervision for a further two years and told him he would be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
Defence counsel Drew Mckenzie said that Davidson still maintained the position he had taken at trial, when he denied raping the university student on November 15 in 2014.
Davidson was found guilty of raping the woman at Jawbone Walk in the Meadows public park after approaching her from behind and putting an arm around her neck causing her to lose consciousness.
Police launched a major hunt to find the attacker following the assault around 7am.
The woman said she had heard footsteps coming up behind her and at first thought it was a friend approaching.
She said: “He was running straight behind me. He was grabbing me by the neck with his arm.”
She lost consciousness and when she came round she was lying on the ground with her attacker on top of her.
She said: “When he started pulling my leggings down that’s when I realised what he was going to do. I think I shouted ‘stop’.”
The woman, who cannot be identified, said he grabbed her neck so she could not speak or breathe and she started to fight back.
The victim told the court that she felt it was “a struggle for life” during the attack on her.
After Davidson was detained by police he became emotional when in custody and asked if a message could be passed to his mother. He said: “Tell her I am sorry for everything I have done.”
Mr Mckenzie told the court that it was recognised that “a substantial sentence is inevitable”.
He said that while on remand Davidson had been seeking to improve his education by attending classes in different subjects. The defence counsel said: “There is at least some hope for the future.”