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Man jailed for seven years for rape of teenage girl in Orkney

By Court Reporter

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A man who raped a teenager after she offered to show him the way to an address in Orkney has been jailed for seven years.

Graham Shepherd launched a sex attack on the 17-year-old girl after meeting her in the early hours of the morning in Kirkwall.

A judge at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday told Shepherd (32): "You have been convicted of the rape of a young girl, a stranger to you, which was no doubt a horrific experience for her."

Lady Haldane said that there was no alternative to the imposition of a lengthy period in custody for the offence.

The judge said: "There was no suggestion at any point during this assault or afterwards that you exhibited any concern for her welfare."

The High Court in Edinburgh.
The High Court in Edinburgh.

Lady Haldane said that Shepherd had shown "a callous disregard in every way" for the vulnerable victim.

Shepherd, who was 30 at the time, had been drinking heavily before meeting and sexually assaulting the 17-year-old victim.

During an earlier trial at the High Court in Aberdeen he had denied raping the teenager on October 6, 2019, at a lane in Kirkwall, but was found guilty of the offence.

Lady Haldane said that Shepherd had accepted no responsibility for the offence and continued to maintain that not only was it consensual, but that the victim had contrived to make a false allegation.

The judge said that, although he had a history of abusing drugs and alcohol, Shepherd had no convictions for similar types of offences.

The court heard that Shepherd, a prisoner in Inverness, previously worked as a scaffolder and roofer, but was unable to pursue his desire to join the Army.

Defence counsel Gordon Jackson QC said that at the time of the attack on the teenager Shepherd was "under the influence of drink".

Shepherd was placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely. His name was added to the list of persons deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups.

Shepherd's prison term was backdated to October 2019 as he has been held in custody since then.

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