A predatory university student who snatched a lone woman from an Aberdeen street and subjected her to a terrifying rape ordeal was jailed for eight years today.
Callum Duncan, 23, followed his victim before grabbing her by the hair and dragging her into a close.
A judge told Duncan: “Your victim was a complete stranger to you. She was walking home to a friend’s house after a night out.”
Lady Scott said that after dragging the woman up three floors in the stairwell Duncan had violently raped his victim and subjected her to abuse over a long period.
‘Victim is a brave woman’
The judge said: “Your victim is a resourceful and brave young woman. She has endured a long struggle to survive.”
Lady Scott said at the High Court in Edinburgh the woman has begun to rebuild her life and in her own words said: ‘She would not be defined by what you did to her’.
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 denied charges
Duncan had earlier denied abducting and raping the woman on March 30 in 2019 at Raeburn Place, in Aberdeen, but was unanimously convicted of the crime by a jury at his trial.
He was also found guilty of sexually assaulting another young woman on two separate occasions in January 2019 at clubs in Aberdeen by grabbing her breast.
Duncan, an engineering student at Aberdeen University, was also convicted of standing naked at a window of a flat in Nellfield Place, Aberdeen, on January 11 last year and carrying out a solo sex act in front of a woman after he was released on bail by the city’s sheriff court following the rape charge.
The rape victim told Duncan’s trial that she had left a nightclub and got food.
She said she parted company with friends, who lived in a different direction, but wasn’t concerned, adding: “I knew Aberdeen quite well. I said I was grand. I always felt very safe in Aberdeen.”
The woman had previously studied in Aberdeen before securing employment elsewhere.
Victim was in ‘distressed state’
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.
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 placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
‘A violent and terrifying ordeal’
Speaking after the sentencing hearing 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.”