A RAPE victim has spoken of her "huge sense of relief" that the attacker who followed her home after a Christmas party has been jailed.
The 51-year-old woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was attacked by Scott Johnston, 19, after she left the function in December last year.
Johnston, a greenkeeper, from East Kilbride, was yesterday jailed for six years and nine months at the High Court in Glasgow after he admitted the assault, during which he repeatedly struck his victim with an iron.
He claimed he was so drunk he had no memory of the event, but was caught as a result of CCTV footage and DNA evidence.
Johnstone's victim said in an interview that she felt some closure now the case was over.
She said: "It's quite a lot to take in and there is so much involved. Obviously there is a lot of stress involved as well. But in this situation where there has been a good result, obviously he has been caught very quickly.
"He pleaded guilty so there is a huge sense of relief. After sentencing there will obviously be closure and you need to kind of just move on. In this type of crime there is a lot of women that don't come forward and I can understand why, it's very difficult.
"Within the first few days it's very, very difficult because you are under so much trauma and it takes time to come to terms with what happened, but at the end of the day as far as I was concerned a crime had been committed. And I did not want anyone else to go through what I went through."
The woman had been out for the evening drinking, singing karaoke and dancing with a friend at a bar and left around midnight to walk home. Johnston followed her from near Hampden Park football stadium in Glasgow to her home in Mount Florida.
Yesterday, judge Lady Rae told Johnston: "All rapes are horrid crimes but what aggravates this is that the complainer was unknown to you, a complete stranger. You entered her home uninvited and forced yourself on her.
"This was a degrading sexual assault and you violently assaulted her with a weapon causing her severe injury."
Lady Rae added: "What is concerning is the level of brutality you are capable of when intoxicated. What you did to this lady has had a devastating effect on her. She can no longer live in her home."
Defence counsel Gordon Jackson, QC, said: "My client's position has always been that he was in a state of intoxication and has no recollection of this incident.
"This was a normal decent young man from a decent family until this happened. He is a first offender and it is difficult to understand he did what he did. There is no explanation in his history. But, he put his hands up and has accepted responsibility for what happened."
After Johnston forced his way into the woman's home she hit him with an iron, which he then used to attack her. With blood running from her head, she played dead before he raped her.
Police released a detailed description of the attacker and after reading it Johnston's employer contacted them. Forensic experts found DNA matching his on the victim's clothes and on a comb he had dropped.
A friend of the woman who spotted Johnston talking to her as she walked along the street was so worried that he dialled 999.
However, when he saw the woman enter her close and Johnston take a different route he phoned back to say she was in her house safe and well.
Minutes later the friend walked past her flat again and saw someone entering the close. It was only later that he realised it was probably Johnston.