Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Rugby player Gavin Imrie gets six years for Fife rape

A rugby player has been sentenced to six years for raping a teenager in a Fife garden shortly after playing in a sevens tournament.

Girvin Imrie, a 25-year-old chemical engineer from Cupar, grabbed his victim from behind in the garden of Howe of Fife rugby club and raped her.

The attack took place on 5 May 2013. Imrie denied the charges at the High Court in Glasgow but was found guilty.

He was sentenced on Wednesday at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Judge Lord Kinclaven told Imrie of the many supportive character references that had been submitted in his defence.

He said: "You are a first offender. You have previously been of good, indeed in your case exemplary, character...

"The fact remains you have been found guilty by verdict of the jury of a serious sexual offence."

He pointed out the victim statement, which spoke of the emotional and psychological impact of the crime. He also drew attention to the fact the victim was 19 and unknown to Imrie prior to the assault.

Imrie has been placed on the sex offenders' register.

Vice-like grip

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been drinking and was unable to give consent.

She said in evidence that she had been at the rugby sevens event at Duthes Park, Cupar, with friends and went to the clubhouse afterwards.

She said that after a few drinks she decided to go to the toilet but instead went outside.

She said: "I was very happily drunk. I remember thinking I had to phone my boyfriend, but I can't remember if I phoned him.

I just remember somebody being behind me. I know he was quite strong. He was hurting my arm. I was scared. I remember a big, dark shadow. He never said a word."

She said that the only part of him she could see were his hands as he raped her before running off.

Tragic circumstances

The court heard that Imrie's hat, which he had been wearing that night, had been found close to where the crime took place.

A DNA sample was taken from the victim, but it went missing when Cupar police office was closed down the day after the attack. The sample which was in a fridge in the CID office disappeared during the removal process.

After hearing the police were investigating an incident at the rugby club, Imrie told them he had had consensual sex in the garden that night.

Defence solicitor Iain Paterson said the circumstances were tragic for both the victim and for Imrie and his family.

He said that Imrie is "unlikely to re-offend in future" and brought attention to his academic and sporting success. He asked the judge to be as lenient as possible in all the circumstances of the case.

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