Rapist who attacked victim while she slept then text to apologise jailed

Toby Gayfer was sentenced to four years in prison following the attack in December 2021.

Rapist who attacked victim while she slept then text to apologise jailed Police Scotland

A rapist who attacked his victim while she slept then repeatedly apologised by text has been jailed for four years. 

Toby Gayfer, 29, preyed on his 26-year-old victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at a house in Edinburgh’s Old Town on December 18, 2021. 

The High Court in the city heard how Gayfer assaulted the woman as she slept and was unable to provide consent to the sex acts being performed on her.

A jury heard how the woman left the property after waking up to find Gayfer raping her. He then sent her a series of text messages in which he apologised for raping her. 

In one of the messsages sent by Gayfer, he told the woman: “I’m so f***ing sorry. If there’s anything I can do to make up for it, I’ll do it.”

In another message sent to the woman, Gayfer said: “I genuinely didn’t realise you were asleep. Looking back on it, I should have been able to know.”

The court heard that the woman spoke to detectives about her ordeal and that the messages sent by Gayfer were used against him by prosecutors. 

The story emerged after jurors returned a guilty verdict to a charge of rape on the third day of proceedings last month against Gayfer, also of Edinburgh. Sentence had been deferred for the court to obtain reports on Gayfer’s background. 

On Friday, judge Norman McFadyen told Gayfer, who oberved proceedings via videolink from prison, that he’d have to serve time for his crimes. 

He added: “I’m satisfied that only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”

During proceedings, the court heard how the woman had been on a night out with Gayfer, a waiter and others. 

She told prosecutor Gavin Dewar that she had fallen asleep in a property in the early hours of the morning and had awoken to her clothes having been removed and Gayfer raping her. 

She said: “He was having sex with me. He was holding his hand behind my back. 

“I froze. I was scared. 

“I didn’t give him any invitation.”

The woman also told Mr Dewar that she later left the property. 

She told the court: “I told him not to touch me. I started grabbing all my things and I left the flat.

The court heard that Gayfer later sent a series of messages to the woman. She replied to one of them: “How can you call it consensual if I was asleep?”

He replied: “I’m so sorry. I didn’t realise. I know that’s hard to believe but it’s the truth. I’m, so sorry.”

Gayfer pleaded not guilty to rape at the start of proceedings. He admitted having sex with the woman but claimed it was consensual.

In his closing speech to jurors, Mr Dewar urged jurors to convict him of the crime saying that the texts sent by Gayfer were proof of him raping the woman. 

When jurors returned a guilty verdict, Gayfer sat in the dock with his head bowed after learning of his fate. 

On Friday, another lawyer addressed Judge McFadyen. Ronnie Rennuci KC told him that his client told a court appointed social worker of how he is sorry for what he has done. 

He added: “He does apologise to his victim for his actions. He does show genuine empathy and remorse.”

Mr Renucci also said that Gayfer had been of good character. 

He added: “He did not come to the attention of the authorities. He can be described as being a net contributor to society.”

Judge McFadyen also placed Gayfer on the Sex Offenders Register for life. 

Following his conviction, detective Inspector Keith Taylor said: “This was a hugely distressing experience for Gayfer’s victim and I hope that today’s sentencing will provide her with some closure.

“He now faces the consequences of his despicable actions.

“I hope this sentencing sends a clear message that this type of violence will not be tolerated. We are wholly committed to tackling sexual crimes and bringing those responsible to justice. I’d encourage anyone who has been a victim of such crimes to come forward and report it to us, regardless of when it happened. We’ll thoroughly investigate and have specially trained officers and partner agencies to support you throughout.”

Scotland’s Procurator Fiscal for High Court Sexual Offences, Katrina Parkes, added: “The victim in this case has shown incredible bravery in coming forward after the harrowing ordeal she endured.

“Toby Gayfer exploited her vulnerable position and raped her while she slept.

“We hope today’s sentence offers some comfort to her while Gayfer faces the consequences of his despicable actions.

“I would encourage all victims or witnesses of similar offending to come forward, report their experiences and seek support.

“You will be heard and we will use all the tools available to us to pursue justice on your behalf.”

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