New Year party host jailed for four and a half years for raping guest

Ivanov was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh
Ivanov was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh

New Year party host who raped a guest after urging her to “have some fun” was jailed for four and a half years today.

Veselin Ivanov carried out the sex attack on the new mother after she had gone to a room at his home to sleep.

A judge told Ivanov at the High Court in Edinburgh that he had been convicted of the serious crime of rape at his home when the victim was just coming out of sleep.

Lord Burns said: “She had just given birth to a child and this court, as you know, always takes these matters extremely seriously.”

But the judge said there were circumstances which justified him imposing a sentence at the lower end of the scale.

READ MORE: New Year party host jailed for raping guest

Lord Burns said that the 28-year-old had “absolutely no previous convictions”. He added: “You are someone who has come to this country and contributed to it.”

The judge said Ivanov was a hard-working individual and the high esteem he was held in by many people was spoken to by a letter handed up to him.

The woman earlier told Ivanov’s trial that she awoke to find him on top of her, straddling her and he touched her intimately.

She told him his girlfriend was next door but Ivanov said to her: “Come on, let’s have some fun.”

The court heard that the woman pushed him and told him to stop but he forced her legs open and raped her.

Advocate depute Steven Borthwick said: “He ignored her physical rejection. He ignored her verbal rejection.”

Ivanov had denied raping the woman at his home in Salters Road, Wallyford, in East Lothian, on January 1 last year, but was earlier found guilty by a jury after a trial.

He was convicted of assaulting the intoxicated woman by touching and rubbing her on the body, pulling down her lower clothing, parting her legs and raping her.

The Bulgarian-born first offender had been on bail ahead of his trial but following his conviction last month the judge rejected a defence move for that to continue and remanded him in custody ahead of sentencing today.

The 31-year-old victim told the court that she went to the party at Ivanov’s home with her partner while her baby was being looked after.

At one stage she had been keen to return home to see her child but her partner persuaded her to stay.

She was cold and tired and had not slept properly for days and after drinking she went to bed and fell asleep.

The woman said that after the sex attack on her occurred she was in shock and did not know at first whether it had actually happened or whether it was some sort of dream.

She left with her partner to return to their home and said she needed to think about whether to tell him about what had taken place. She said she was worried that he would kill Ivanov.

After the crying woman later revealed the attack to him he went to confront Ivanov and assaulted him, the court was told.

Ivanov had denied to a friend through a Facebook conversation that he had entered the room where the sex attack took place.

But he later claimed that he had gone into the bedroom to collect some amphetamine and the woman had asked him for a cuddle or hug and he got into bed with her.

Ivanov told his trial that he went in the room not to get drugs but to get shaving cream.

Defence counsel Tony Lenehan said Ivanov remained of the belief that consent had been present when the sex took place.

He said that Ivanov had been assessed as posing a low risk of re-offending.

Ivanov, who moved to Scotland in 2015, was placed on the sex offenders’ register.