Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

St Andrews sex attack: Student tells of terrifying ordeal

David Russell apartments Image copyright Google
Image caption The woman was attacked on a lane between the university sports hall and the David Russell apartments in St Andrews

A St Andrews University student has told a jury she was terrified when a man pushed her to the ground and whispered "pretty lady" in her ear.

The 19-year-old was walking from halls to a bus stop when she was grabbed.

She was giving evidence at the trial of Pasquale Galianni, 31, who denies sexual assault with intent to rape in North Haugh on 28 November 2013.

Mr Galianni also denies raping a woman and sexually assaulting another woman in St Andrews in April 2014.

He has lodged a special defence of consent to the rape charge.

Mobile phone

In evidence at the High Court in Glasgow, the 19-year-old told advocate depute David Taylor, prosecuting, that it was late afternoon and dark when she was attacked.

She said: "I was walking through a shady area with trees. I noticed someone walking towards me. I was looking at my phone. He seemed to rush towards me, grabbed me and pulled me down to the ground."

The court was told the woman was dragged off the path onto a grassy area. She said that she only got a brief glimpse of her attacker because she was looking at her phone.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: "I just remember him saying 'pretty lady'. I thought he sounded foreign. It wasn't a British accent. "

When asked how she felt, she said: "Terrified. He was very strong and I didn't think I would be able to push him off."

The student said she tried to make a call to her boyfriend on her mobile phone during the incident and added: "I screamed and basically after I'd screamed he got up and ran off in the direction I'd just come from."

The teenager said she phoned a university friend who came and collected her and took her to the halls of residence where they waited for the police to arrive.

The trial before Lord Burns continues.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites