A MAN who attacked a young student in a park as she returned home from a night out has been convicted of rape.
Steven Davidson, 25, grabbed the 20-year-old woman from behind as she walked through the Meadows in near Edinburgh city centre in November 2014.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard the drug dealer did not know his victim. He caused her to feel that she was fighting for her life.
The woman told the court she fell unconscious after Davidson started choking her. He then raped her and ran off.
She did not know who attacked her and police launched a month-long hunt for Davidson. He was caught after detectives found his DNA on his victim’s body and traced him to his house in Gorebridge, Midlothian. Davidson has previous convictions for violence.
Jurors returned their guilty verdict after Davidson had pleaded guilty during proceedings to a charge which stated that he was involved in selling cannabis at various locations in Edinburgh in November 2014.
Judge Lady Stacey has warned Davidson to expect a lengthy prison sentence.
The woman told the court she fell unconscious after her attacker started choking her. She said that when she regained consciousness, she was lying on the ground. The court heard her attacker was on top of her and the woman said he raped her.
Telling the court that she was wearing a dress and leggings, the woman said : “When he started pulling my leggings down that’s when I realised what he was going to do.
“I think I shouted ‘stop’. I didn’t shout ‘help’. It was a weird moment. I think I shouted ‘please don’t do this here,’.
“He grabbed my neck again so I couldn’t speak or breathe and that’s when I started to fight against him.
“It was a struggle for life. I had this moment that I couldn’t breathe. There was this moment that I started shaking myself to get some air.”
The woman told said she had was walking through the Meadows shortly before 7am.
The woman told the court that she heard footsteps behind her and she thought it was a friend who was coming up behind her.
She said: “I thought it was just a friend who was approaching me. He was running straight behind me. He was grabbing me by the neck with his arm.
“I couldn’t get any breath. At that point, I realised it was an attack.”