Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man jailed for violent sex attack in Livingston

A man who carried out a violent sex attack on a vulnerable woman in West Lothian has been jailed for four years.

Mark Easton, 26, wept as the judge at the High Court in Edinburgh criticised him for the "terrible" assault.

The court heard the incident, in Livingston, had caused his victim to be put in a residential unit.

Easton, from Mid Street in the town, admitted attacking the 24-year-old, with intent to rape, on 5 September last year.

The court heard how the woman, who had a low IQ, was on a night out in Livingston with her boyfriend when she left a pub to take a phone call.

Easton followed her outside and was caught on CCTV footage trying to lead her away.

Easton let go of her and went back to the bar but reappeared a minute later and was seen to kiss her and put his arms around her.

'Appalling assault'

Advocate depute Gillian Wade described how the vulnerable woman was seized by the arm and led to a nearby close where she was pushed against a fence and pinned to the ground.

The woman continually shouted "no" and was able to push him off her before running off.

Judge Lady Smith told Easton: "You, realising that she was vulnerable, took advantage of that to satisfy your sexual desires.

"You assaulted her sexually and you did so in an appalling manner despite her shouting at you to desist and her trying to escape. You intended to rape her, that was what the assault was about that night."

She added: "Her freedom was brought to an end because of what you did to her that night."

Lady Smith said she had reduced Easton's sentence from four years nine months to reflect his guilty plea, and placed him on the sex offenders register.

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