Glasgow & West Scotland

Christopher McKeown jailed for raping sleeping woman

A man who was convicted of raping a law student as she slept in her house following a birthday night out has been jailed for four years.

Christopher McKeown was among a number of people at the victim's home in Barrhead, East Renfrewhire, in October 2012 when he carried out the attack.

McKeown, also from Barrhead, claimed that what happened was consensual.

The 30-year-old was found guilty after the jury heard how he carried on despite the victim begging him to stop.

McKeown appeared for sentencing at the High Court in Edinburgh having been convicted at an earlier trial in Glasgow.

Lowest sentence

Jailing him, temporary judge Edward Bowen QC told McKeown: "The fact of the matter is that the root of the problem lies in the consumption of excessive quantities of alcohol.

"You are the victim of a culture which seems to be that large quantities of alcohol can be consumed without any effect on behaviour.

"It is tragically clear it did have an effect on you, as previous convictions show and the sooner you realise that the better".

The judge said that rapes of this type had to be taken seriously and the lowest possible sentence was four years imprisonment.

McKeown's earlier trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard that soon after arriving at the victim's home he tried to kiss one of the woman's friends.

Another friend called him a "creep".

The jury heard the student was later in bed when she was awoken by McKeown having sex with her.

He demanded she shut up as he held her on the bed.

Recalling her ordeal, she said: "I was trying to scream, but I just could not bring myself to.

"I don't know what would be normal for someone who has fought off a rapist - everyone reacts in a different way. "

Victim 'manic'

She added: "I begged him to stop...I was pleading telling him to stop, stop." The victim eventually bit hard on his lip to get him away.

She went on: "It was the only thing I could do. I didn't have any other control over the rest of my body. I could not get away from him."

McKeown then left the woman and was seen kissing one of her friends as she slept before being ordered out.

The victim - who suffered bruising to her torso and shoulder - was described as "manic" afterwards.

She told the court how she struggled personally following the attack.

She said: "Life changed a lot - I dropped out of university, my job and I lost a lot of friends."

McKeown was later arrested by police and claimed anything that happened was consensual.

He insisted he had chatted with the woman before "one thing led to another".

Asked why he had gone into the victim's room, he claimed: "I knew there was somebody in there and I just went to chat her up a bit."

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