Man carried out 'dreadful' sex attack on woman after giving her drugs

Andrew Marsters gave his victim Etizolam before sexually assaulting her at a house in Aberdeenshire.

Andrew Marsters sexually assaulted woman in Peterhead after giving his victim Etizolam iStock

A man who carried out a “dreadful” sex attack on a woman after supplying her with a potent drug has been jailed for seven years.

Andrew Marsters gave his victim Etizolam before sexually assaulting her at a house in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

A judge told the 48-year-old at the High Court in Edinburgh: “I do regard the circumstances of the main offence here as very serious indeed.”

Lord Boyd of Duncansby said: “You pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the woman while she intoxicated and thus incapable of giving consent.”

The judge pointed out that the victim’s intoxicated state was as a result of the Etizolam that Marsters had supplied to her.

Lord Boyd said: “You demonstrate little understanding of the consequences of your actions and show little empathy to your victim.”

The judge said Marsters minimised his culpability by blaming the drugs that he had taken and his victim.

Lord Boyd said he had no doubt that Marsters inflicted serious psychological harm to the woman and told him: “This was a dreadful sexual assault.”

He told the former fisherman: “So long as you have problems with drug addiction you will pose a danger to the public.”

The judge pointed out that Marsters, from Peterhead, has an extensive criminal record, including nine convictions for drug offences.

Defence counsel David Moggach said that Marsters maintained that he thought it was his then-partner who was in the bed when the attack occurred, rather than the victim of the assault.

But Lord Boyd told Marsters: “It is not great mitigation you thought you were sexually assaulting someone else.”

Marsters earlier admitted sexually assaulting the woman on September 16 and 17 in 2019 at an address in Peterhead while she was intoxicated through drugs and incapable of giving or withholding consent.

He also admitted being concerned in the supply of the Class C drug Etizolam to the woman on the same dates and possessing the drug on September 17 2019. He had been freed on bail at Peterhead Sheriff Court in March 2019.

Mr Moggach said that Marsters was latterly unemployed and at the time of the offence was abusing drugs. He said illicit drugs were found in the house, including Etizolam which he described as “a strong tranquiliser”.

The defence counsel said: “I would submit that the trigger for the offending here is his addiction. It is something he has struggled with, but it is something he must face up to and deal with.” 

He told the court: “His position is that he thought the person in bed with him was his then partner.”

The defence counsel said Marsters had to acknowledge that he has admitted a serious offence, although a background report prepared on him deemed him suitable for alternative disposals to custody. 

Lord Boyd told Marsters that he would be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely following his sentencing.

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