Man convicted 7 years after rape in Greyfriars Churchyard

The woman was raped in Greyfriar's Kirkyard. Picture: Jon Savage
The woman was raped in Greyfriar's Kirkyard. Picture: Jon Savage

A man who raped a drunken woman in Greyfrairs Churchyard in Edinburgh more than seven years ago has finally been brought to justice.

DOWNLOAD THE EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS APP ON ITUNES OR GOOGLE PLAY

Cy Sullivan, 26, who left his victim naked from the waist down and terrified and confused in the cemetery was caught after his DNA was taken in October 2015 when he assaulted a bouncer.

His 42-year-old victim said: “What has happened to me is a living nightmare.”

In evidence, she described how she travelled from her home in the Highlands to attend a conference in Edinburgh and decided to visit the grave of Greyfrairs Bobby.

The woman said she had at least eight glasses of wine and a police officer who saw her hours later at 5am described her as ‘intoxicated.”

At the High Court in Glasgow Sullivan, from Shetland, denied rape and claimed he had consensual sex with the woman.

But, after deliberating for two days the jury convicted Sullivan of raping the woman in the graveyard on November 27, 2009, when she was intoxicated and incapable of giving consent.

The court heard that the woman was spotted by two police officers. She was standing at railings inside the graveyard appeared under the influence of alcohol.

She was taken to Gayfield police station and then examined by doctors and a DNA sample was taken.

The victim was asked by prosecutor Ian Wallace: “Do you remember leaving Greyfriars pub,” and she sobbed as she said: “No. I remember coming round in the graveyard and there was a police lady. I was frozen and I was disorientated. I tried for some time to find my way out. It was like something happened and I had just come round. It was awful. I just felt awful, embarrassed. I had no clothing on my bottom half.”

The woman told the jurors that she had no memory of what happened after she left the pub until the police found her.

She was asked if she had any recollection of anyone having sex with her and replied: “No.”

Mr Wallace then said: “Did you want to have sex with anyone that night,” and the victim said: “Definitely not.”

The court heard that at the time there was no match to the DNA found on her body, but in October 2015 there was a ‘hit” on the database after Sullivan was arrested and charged with assault and his DNA was taken.

Sullivan told the court he had bought the woman a drink and then has sex with her. He claimed that she appeared fine to him and not drunk.

He appeared in court with crutches and a wheelchair and told the jury he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two weeks ago.

His defence counsel David Nicolson said: “Just after Christmas he had trouble with his right eye and with his balance. On May 12 a diagnosis was made. He was diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis.”

Judge Rita Rae remanded Sullivan in custody and placed him on the sex offenders’ register.

She told him: “Rape is one of the most serious charges we have to deal with in these courts and has long-lasting effects on women.

“I am reading an impact statement from the victim and she says: “What happened to me in a living nightmare.’

“It was obvious when she gave evidence she is still suffering.”

Lady Rae deferred sentence until next month for background reports.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland