Student who raped woman in close jailed for eight years

Callum Duncan followed the young woman before grabbing her by the hair and raping her.

Student who raped woman in close jailed for eight years Police Scotland

A rapist who grabbed a woman from an Aberdeen street and subjected her to a sex attack has been jailed for eight years.

University student Callum Duncan followed his victim before grabbing her by the hair and dragging her into a close and raping her.

On Wednesday a judge told the 23-year-old: “Your victim was a complete stranger to you. She was walking home to a friend’s house after a night out.”

After dragging her up three floors in the stairwell, Duncan raped the woman and subjected her to abuse over a long period.

The judge said: “Your victim is a resourceful and brave young woman. She has endured a long struggle to survive.”

On Wednesday the High Court in Edinburgh heard that the woman has started to rebuild her life and in her own words said “she would not be defined” by the attack.

The judge said it was a “very serious” offence, involving a degrading and demeaning attack for Duncan’s own sexual gratification.

Lady Scott said that she took into account that Duncan was a first offender who was aged 21 at the time of the crime and had been an ambitious student who worked hard.

She said she took account of the needs for rehabilitation and said she would reduce the sentence she would otherwise have imposed, which would have been in double figures.

Duncan had earlier denied abducting and raping the woman at Raeburn Place on March 30 in 2019, but was unanimously convicted of the crime by a jury at his trial. 

The 25-year-old victim told Duncan’s trial that she had left a nightclub and got food, before parting company with friends.

They had insisted on walking with her, but were due to go in a different direction to get home.

She said: “I knew Aberdeen quite well. I said I was grand. I always felt very safe in Aberdeen.”

The court heard she had previously studied in Aberdeen before securing employment in Dundee, but regularly returned to the northern city.

Duncan approached her as she made her way alone to a friend’s home before attacking her.

After the sex assault she made her way to her friend’s house in a distressed state and police were contacted.

Duncan had claimed during his trial that the sex was consensual and said: “Her body language all the way through would suggest she was enjoying it.”

Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson said: “Clearly, he is an intelligent young man. Obviously as a consequence of being convicted of these offences, this is going to have a dramatic effect on the rest of his life.”

“Using his words ‘Screwed up my life completely’ is how he put it and I think that’s fair to say,” said Mr Paterson.

Duncan was also convicted of two other charges.

The engineering student at Aberdeen University sexually assaulted another young woman on two separate occasions in January 2019 at clubs in Aberdeen.

He was also convicted of standing naked at a window of a flat in Nellfield Place, Aberdeen, on January 11 last year when he carried out a solo sex act in front of a woman after he was released on bail following the rape charge.   

Duncan was placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Detective inspector Lesley Clark of the North East Public Protection Unit said: “Callum Duncan subjected a young woman to a violent, unprovoked and terrifying ordeal.

“It is due to her bravery throughout the police investigation and subsequent legal proceedings that he will now face the consequences of his appalling actions.

“Hopefully the bravery shown by the victim will give other individuals who have suffered abuse the strength to come forward and report crimes of this nature.

“We treat all reports of sexual crime – no matter when the offence happened – with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity to bring perpetrators of such crimes such as Callum Duncan to justice.”

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