Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Woman tells of Edinburgh Meadows rape ordeal

Scene of sex attack in Meadows Image copyright @zioscozio
Image caption The attack is said to have happened in the Meadows area of Edinburgh

A student who was allegedly raped in an Edinburgh park has told a court how she fought for her life after a man ran up and grabbed her from behind.

The 20-year-old said she was returning home from a night out in November 2014 when she was attacked in the Meadows.

She said she passed out after being choked and woke to find a man lying on top of her. He then raped her.

Steven Davidson, 23, of Newtongrange, Midlothian, denies rape. The trial at the High Court in Edinburgh continues.

The woman told prosecution lawyer Jane Farquharson that she had been walking through the Meadows shortly before 07:00 on 15 November.

She had spent the previous evening with friends at parties and at a nightclub in Edinburgh.

She told Ms Farquharson she had taken drugs during the previous evening but that they had "worn off" at the time she was allegedly attacked.

The woman said she heard footsteps and thought it was a friend who was coming up behind her.

She said: "I thought it was just a friend who was approaching me. He was running straight behind me. He was grabbing me by the neck with his arm.

"I couldn't get any breath. At that point, I realised it was an attack."

Lost consciousness

The woman told the court she then passed out. When she regained consciousness, she said she was lying on the ground with her attacker on top of her.

She told the court: "When he started pulling my leggings down - that's when I realised what he was going to do.

"I think I shouted 'stop'. I didn't shout 'help'. It was a weird moment. I think I shouted 'please don't do this here'.

"He grabbed my neck again so I couldn't speak or breathe and that's when I started to fight against him.

"It was a struggle for life. I had this moment that I couldn't breathe. There was this moment that I started shaking myself to get some air."

The woman also told the court the alleged attack had continued consequences on her life.

"I still get scared when I hear somebody running behind me," she said.

The woman was giving evidence on the second day of proceedings against Steven Davidson, who also denies a second charge of being involved in supplying drugs at various locations in Edinburgh in November 2014.

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