Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man jailed for Greyfriars kirkyard rape in Edinburgh

Cy Sullivan Image copyright Iain McLellan/Spindrift Photo Agency
Image caption The court heard that Cy Sullivan raped the woman when she was intoxicated

A rapist who escaped justice for seven years following a sex attack in Edinburgh's Greyfriars kirkyard has been jailed after being caught through his DNA.

Cy Sullivan, 26, raped his 46-year-old victim on 27 November 2009.

DNA was recovered but there was no match in the national database.

But a routine swab was taken when he was charged with assaulting a bouncer in October 2015 and it matched the DNA found at Greyfriars Churchyard.

Sullivan, from Shetland, claimed he and his victim had consensual sex, but a jury convicted him of raping her while she was so intoxicated she could not have given consent.

He was jailed for five years.

'Living nightmare'

At the High Court in Glasgow judge Lady Rae told Sullivan: "You raped a lady almost twice your age. You took advantage of her intoxicated state.

"She has been left seriously traumatised by what you did and with having to relive what she remembered, and the shame and embarrassment she felt when she was discovered by police in the state of undress that you left her in. She was a stranger to you."

The court heard that the victim was found by police wandering half naked in the cemetery in a confused and drunken state.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The rape happened at Greyfriars kirkyard in 2009

She described what happened to her as "a living nightmare."

In evidence, she said she had travelled from her home in the Highlands to attend a conference in Edinburgh and decided to visit the grave of Greyfriars Bobby.

The woman said she had drunk at least eight glasses of wine. A police officer who saw her hours later at 05:00 described her as 'intoxicated."

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was asked by prosecutor Ian Wallace: "Do you remember leaving Greyfriars pub," and she said: "No. I remember coming round in the graveyard and there was a police lady.

"I was frozen and I was disorientated. I tried for some time to find my way out.

"It was like something happened and I had just come round. It was awful. I just felt awful, embarrassed. I had no clothing on my bottom half."

No memory

The woman told the jurors that she had no memory of what happened after she left the pub until the police found her.

She was asked if she had any recollection of anyone having sex with her and replied: "No."

Mr Wallace then said: "Did you want to have sex with anyone that night," and the victim said: "Definitely not."

Sullivan told the court he had bought the woman a drink and then afterwards had sex with her. He claimed that she appeared fine to him and not drunk.

Sullivan was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in May this year and was taken into court in a wheelchair before walking a few feet to the dock using crutches.

His defence counsel David Nicolson said: "His family maintain their support of him, particularly his partner of three years.

"He has a good work record and has only one previous conviction."

Lady Rae placed Sullivan on the sex offenders' register.

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