A former welder has been found guilty of sneaking into the home of a Peterhead mum and subjecting her to a terrifying hour-long sexual assault.
Ramunas Smitras, 32, was on trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court accused of attacking the woman in the early hours of April 27 2013.
Two other women had also accused Smitras of sexual assaults in Peterhead town centre.
It took a jury of eight men and six women less than an hour to convict Smitras of sexually assaulting the mum-of-two in her home.
The jury also found Smitras guilty of sexually assaulting a second woman on Prince Street just hours later.
However, he was found not guilty of sexually touching a third woman at the Caley Bar in March 2013.
During an emotionally charged week-long trial, Smitas’ first victim, now 33, told a jury of her terror after she awoke to find a stranger standing over her bed with his trousers pulled down.
She described her attacker’s actions that day as “so wrong” and that the assault had “stripped every part of me”.
“I was left feeling like it stripped my identity and there was nothing left,” she told the jury.
“I felt ashamed and worthless.”
Asked by fiscal depute Lynne MacVicar why she felt it was so important to report the incident, she said: “It was so hard. But I didn’t think it was right that he would get to do this and get away.”
Upon hearing the jury majority verdict on both charges, Sheriff Morag McLaughlin told Smitras – who fled to Germany after being originally charged with the crime – that a prison sentence was “likely” to be the outcome.
She then struggled with Smitras, a Lithuanian national, before breaking free of his grasp and barricading herself in the bathroom.
The 33-year-old woman – who was 24 at the time of the assault – then made a bolt for the front door, but was again grabbed by Smitras.
The pair struggled in her living room and she ended up on the sofa underneath the man, who she said was trying to rape her.
Snared by DNA
The woman said she eventually broke free of her attacker and dashed for the door, escaping into the street.
Smitras then left the woman’s home and walked into Peterhead town centre where he grabbed and sexually assaulted a second woman.
The jury heard evidence from a series of witnesses who identified Smitras wearing a distinctive blue jacket and loitering outside his first victim’s home the night before the attack.
They were also shown a report by a police forensics expert today told the jury that a DNA profile found on the neck and jeans of the woman matched Smitras.
Former forensic biologist Linda Muckersie, one of the scientists who led the testing, said it was “approximately one billion times more likely” to be the profile of Smitras than any other man.
Smitras was unanimously cleared of one charge of sexual assault at Peterhead’s Caley Bar, where it was claimed he had repeatedly touched a female customer on the leg.
The woman, who was 20 at the time, claimed Smitras had touched her and asked whether she wanted a drink.
Following the jury’s verdict, Sheriff McLaughlin told Smitras she would defer sentence on him until next month in order for a criminal justice social work report to be carried out.
She added: “Charge two is an extremely serious offence and only custody is likely to be the sentence for that.”
Sheriff McLaughlin also placed Smitras on the sex offender’s register.
Police hail bravery of victims
Speaking after the case, Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Knight, from the Aberdeenshire Public Protection Unit, praised the women for coming forward.
She said: “It takes immense courage for victims of sexual assault to speak out and I would like to commend them for their bravery.
“Smitras is finally being held to account for his crimes.
“Police Scotland is committed to supporting victims of sexual crimes and investigating those responsible, bringing them to justice.
“I would encourage any victims to come forward and report it. They can be assured of being fully supported by officers and partner agencies.”
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