An Aberdeen student has been found guilty of snatching a woman from the street and subjecting her to a terrifying rape ordeal.
Callum Duncan, 23, seized the woman and forced her into flats before dragging her by the hair upstairs to a communal landing where he carried out a degrading sex attack.
Duncan’s victim had been on a night out in the city, where she previously lived, and was returning to the flat of a friend in the early hours of the morning when he struck.
Duncan, who was in his final year of a master’s degree in engineering at Aberdeen University, had denied abducting and raping the woman on March 30 in 2019 at Raeburn Place, in Aberdeen, but has now been found guilty of the crime.
The 25-year-old woman said she had moved to Aberdeen as an 18-year-old and was there for five years before moving to Dundee to take up a job, but regularly returned.
She had left a nightclub and, after getting food, had decided to make her way back to a friend’s flat.
The woman told the High Court in Edinburgh that she had “always felt safe” in the city so didn’t accept the offer of some company for the walk from her friends.
She said: “I knew Aberdeen quite well. I said I was grand. I always felt very safe in Aberdeen.”
But as she walked through the streets she became aware of someone in the vicinity.
She said: “I felt uncomfortable. I was walking home when somebody approached me from behind.”
The woman told the court that no-one else was around and the male began trying to engage her in conversation.
Advocate depute Leanne Cross asked her if she had come across the man earlier in the evening and she replied: “Absolutely not.”
She added: “He asked a couple of questions. I remember keeping the answers brief. I didn’t want to get too deep in conversation to engage with him.”
The woman crossed the road hoping it would give her a chance to get walking on her own again, but Duncan also crossed over the street.
The victim, who gave evidence via a video link, said: “I suppose that’s when I felt quite uneasy. I just felt where I was walking, he was walking. I just felt something wasn’t right.”
She said Duncan asked her to come with him, but she said she was staying with a friend and picked up her pace.
“In my opinion, I felt like he became aggressive a bit,” she said.
The woman said she was grabbed by her hair, and added: “Before I knew it I was being pulled upstairs.”
“I think I kind of kicked back a bit to try to get free, but very quickly I realised there was a big difference between our strengths.
“I just knew I was being pulled upstairs and thinking about how I was going to get away. I felt like I was going backwards.”
She realised she was at a landing with doors and in quite dark conditions.
She said: “I asked for him to let me go. Obviously I was quite stressed. He told me to be quiet quite forcibly.
“The next thing I remember I am on the floor and I am aware he is holding my hair. I would have been on my hands and knees on the floor. He was behind me and he was holding me by my hair.
The woman said Duncan then raped her.
She said: “I kind of zoned out really just trying to think how I was going to get out of there. It felt like it went on forever.
“He was still holding onto me so I couldn’t make a break for it.”
She eventually was able to attempt to flee, but before she got too far Duncan grabbed her by the hair again.
She said: “I just asked him to please let me go. I don’t remember him saying anything. He just pulled me back in an aggressive manner.”
Duncan carried out another sex act on the woman and forced her to perform a degrading act on him. She said his demeanour changed and she managed to grab her belongings and ran downstairs.
She told the court: “That was the first time I felt I was going to be able to actually get away and make it.”
The woman arrived at her friend’s flat in a distressed state and police were alerted.
Duncan later claimed that the sex between him and the woman had been consensual.
He told the court: “She agreed to all of it. Her body language all the way through would suggest she was enjoying it.”
He was also found guilty of exposing himself after standing naked at a window in a flat in Nellfield Place, Aberdeen, on January 11 last year and performing a solo sex act after being freed on bail following a court appearance on the rape charge.
Duncan, currently a prisoner at HMP Grampian, was also convicted of two earlier sex assaults at nightclubs in Aberdeen on January 19 and 22 in 2019, when he grabbed a woman by the breast, inflicting bruising on one occasion.
Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson told the judge, Lady Scott: “Given the verdict of the jury clearly Your Ladyship will impose a significant custodial sentence on this young man.”
The judge told Duncan, a first offender, that he had been convicted of “a very serious offence”.
He was remanded in custody for the preparation of a background report before sentencing next month.