Rapist fails in bid to overturn his conviction ‘via Facebook posts’

Crawford had attempted to overturn the judgment using Facebook posts.
Crawford had attempted to overturn the judgment using Facebook posts.

A RAPIST who tried to use his victim’s Facebook posts to show she was lying in court has failed in a bid to overturn his conviction.

Taxi driver Rory Crawford, who was branded a “sinister predator” by a judge, was jailed for seven years for raping a sleeping woman.

Crawford, 35, had met the 21-year-old woman and her friend, whose flat she was staying in, at a nightclub in Edinburgh before he had returned home with them.

He went into a bedroom where the woman was sleeping and raped her in December 2014.

After his conviction, Crawford’s family trawled through the woman’s Facebook page to monitor her photographs and comments.

READ MORE: Edinburgh taxi driver jailed for rape of teenager

Crawford, of Edinburgh, then launched an appeal claiming the posts showed she had lied about the affect the rape had on her.

The victim told Crawford’s trial that she was now scared to leave the house and had stopped working because of the attack.

However he said her Facebook entries showed she had been on nights out and at work since the incident.

Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal have thrown out Crawford’s appeal bid and said the victim was a credible and reliable witness.

Lord Malcolm, sitting with Lord Turnbull and Lord Menzies, said: “The examination of the complainer at the appeal hearing demonstrated that, making allowance for the broad and general nature of the questions, her answers at the trial were substantially accurate.

“She has not been the person she was, though for understandable reasons she tried to maintain some kind of normality on social media.

“It is doubtful that any member of the jury would have taken it that, quite literally, she never went out. As it is, her lifestyle after the rape has been severely curtailed.

“It is in marked contrast to her description at the trial that before the rape she was ‘a confident, outgoing person that just loved going out to have a good time with people’.

“We consider that any differences and inconsistencies between the evidence at the trial and what can be taken from the postings have been exaggerated, as has their potential significance in the overall context of the issues and evidence at the trial.”

The woman told the appeal judges that she had tried to maintain a persona on social media as she had not told many people about the rape.

A bid by Crawford to have his jail sentence reduced was also refused.

Crawford attacked the woman while she was asleep and incapable of giving or withholding consent and continued to have sex with her after she awoke. He claimed the sex was consensual.

Sentencing him at Edinburgh High Court in July last year, Judge Michael O’Grady said the crime he committed had “a sinister and rather predatory overtone which is disturbing”.

He added: “I regard this crime as very grave and cowardly. Rape is always a hideous and cowardly crime.”

Mr O’Grady said the offence brought “pain, distress and humiliation” for the victim.

Crawford was assessed as a high risk because he continued to maintain his innocence.