Student tells court she was raped by soldier

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A student has told a jury of her terror when a soldier who walked her home for safety allegedly strangled and raped her.

The 23-year-old, originally from Krakow in Poland, said she thought she was going to be killed during the alleged attack.

Kieran Craig, 19, of Milton Bridge, Penicuik, East Lothian, denies assaulting and raping the woman in her Edinburgh flat on October 5 last year.

He has lodged a special defence claiming that his alleged victim consented to sex.

Giving evidence from behind a screen in closed court, the student said she’d agreed to let Craig escort her home from a city nightclub in the early hours of the morning because there were no taxis available.

As they walked from Cowgate to her flat near London Road, she said he boasted that he had fought for his country.

She told the High Court at Livingston: “I thought if he was in the Army he was an honourable man, so I was feeling safe with him.”

The graduate, who can’t be named for legal reasons, told how she reluctantly agreed to let Craig come up to her flat for a glass of water.

After he kissed her in her living room she phoned him a taxi to get him to leave but, as she opened the front door, he grabbed her.

She choked back tears as the told the jury: “Both his hands were on my neck, squeezing my throat. I was terrified. I was trying to hit him.

“I told him: ‘It doesn’t have to be this way’ and he stopped choking me.

“I couldn’t breathe.”

She claimed Craig then dragged her by the arm into her bedroom. She broke free, flung open the front door and screamed for help, she said, but Craig grabbed her by the hair and pulled her back inside.

She sobbed: “He started squeezing my neck again with both hands.

“He said something like: ‘don’t try that again’ and pulled me back into my bedroom.

“I was terrified he was going to hurt me. I was afraid he could have killed me.”

She claimed Craig then raped her. Afterwards, she said he asked her to cuddle him and she agreed because she was so frightened.

She said he then fell asleep and she grabbed her mobile phone and locked herself in the bathroom.

The jury was shown a transcript of a text message she sent to her boyfriend saying: “Please help me. I’m lock myself in toilet. I have rapist in my flat”.

She then dialed 999 and two female police officers arrived shortly afterwards.

She said: “One of the police officers took me into the living room.

“I was trying to calm myself down. I was crying, I was afraid, I was shaking.”

When she was examined later she said she had small bruises on her neck, her arm and the side of her breast.

The trial, before Lord Kinclaven, continues.