Edinburgh sex predator targeted Japanese tourist in Musselburgh Airbnb flat
A young Japanese tourist was strangled and sexually assaulted on the second day of her once-in-a-life time trip to Scotland, a court has heard.
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Kevin Turner had denied forcing his way into the 24-year-old’s Airbnb flat and attacking her with intent to rape her in a terrifying hour-long ordeal.
Giving evidence to the High Court at Livingston via a live CCTV from Tokyo in Japan, the victim said she had told detectives her attacker had distinctive tattoos and identified the accused from police photographs of potential suspects.
A jury took just over two hours to return a unanimous verdict finding Turner after it emerged that his DNA had been found on the victim’s neck.
Turner, 29, originally from Leith, was also convicted of propositioning a 50-year-old woman at an Edinburgh park and asking her to go to a secluded walkway with him “for fun”.
He was earlier cleared of repeatedly assaulting and raping a 26-year-old woman at a house in Gifford, East Lothian, after the judge ruled that evidence of the other offences did not provide sufficient corroboration.
Judge Lord Braid added Turner’s name to the Sex Offenders’ Register with immediate effect and told him details of his conviction would be notified to Scottish Ministers under protection of vulnerable groups legislation.
He called for a criminal justice social work background report and told Turner he would be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh next month.
Turner, who had been on bail until his appearance at the High Court in Livingston, was taken into custody.
Earlier, a jury heard the Japanese woman say she had toured Edinburgh on the second day of her three-day visit to Scotland in February2019 before getting the bus from Princes Street back to her rented holiday flat in Musselburgh, East Lothian.
She said she had just entered the building when she heard someone knocking on the outer door.
Speaking through an interpreter she said: “I thought it might be one of the residents, so I opened it. It was a man but I didn’t know him. I didn’t have any conversation (with him) but I went back to my flat.”
Shortly afterwards, she heard someone knocking on the internal door to her flat but couldn’t see anyone through the peephole so ignored it.
The victim said: “Someone knocked again so I looked out the peephole again. I couldn’t see anything so I just opened it and I saw the man I had seen at the entrance door.
“Before the man came into my flat he said: ‘Are you OK?’ I didn’t answer. He just pushed to open the door. I was very frightened. I tried to push back but he came into my room.
“I remember he just strangled my neck. He pushed me against the wall and I tried to just leave him, but he tried coming towards me and I tried to struggle against that.”
She said she ended up on her back on the floor of an untidy room with Turner undoing her jeans and trying to pull them off.
She said: “I tried not to (let him) take them off. I struggled with that.”
Asked if Turner had managed to pull her jeans down she replied: “Yes he did. I fight back to him so maybe not that far. We are fighting each other.
“He asked me to have sexual intercourse, more than once. I think I just kept saying no.”
She said she didn’t want to reveal what part of her body he had touched because men were listening.
The witness added: “My memory is very vague, but he also asked me to hand the keys to him and also he tried to push me many times.”
The jury also heard Turner described as a “weird oddball” by a woman who gave evidence that he approached her and directed a sexual remark at her by asking her to go with him to “have some fun” on a secluded path in Edinburgh in May 2019.
The council worker said she had gone to Harrison Park to pick up her son from football practice at around 6.45pm.
As she walked along the secluded Old Caledonian Railway footpath she said she felt “scared” passing a strange young man.
She told a jury: “I could see him walking up and down and I thought: ‘He’s a sexual predator!’ He’s looking for someone else to approach.’”
She said Turner followed her from her car to the park railings and suddenly appeared beside her.
She said: “I had no idea he was even there. I was stunned. My heart was racing. I was shocked he’d followed me.
“He said: ‘Do you want to go back there for some fun?’ He was pointing to this secluded railway pathway. I thought he meant: ‘Do you want to have sex?’ I said: ‘F**k off! Go away! F**k off!’ He just stood there staring at me.”
She added: “I actually said: ‘You’re being weird.’ I meant to say ‘you’re scaring me’. It was intimidating. He continued to be intimidating being in that vicinity. I was forced to think: ‘How am I going to get past this guy?”
The jury returned a unanimous verdict convicting Turner of sexually assaulting the Japanese tourist and a majority verdict convicting him of making an unwanted sexual remark to the woman in Harrison Park.