A high risk, convicted rapist who carried out a sex attack on a lone woman in Fife after drinking on his 40th birthday has been given an indeterminate jail sentence.
Dean Stevens targeted the stranger as she walked through a park early in the morning on her way to her work.
Stevens only broke off the attack on the woman after she bit his fingers as he tried to push her to the ground at Pittencrieff Park, in Dunfermline.
He was previously jailed for six years in 2006 after subjecting a 15-year-old girl, also a stranger to him, to an ordeal of repeated rape in Edinburgh after forcing her into bushes.
A judge told Stevens at the High Court in Edinburgh a report prepared on him following the attack in the Fife park on May 24 last year indicated he posed a high risk of re-offending.
Lady Carmichael imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR) on the sex offender and told him he must serve 27 months imprisonment before he becomes eligible to apply for release.
The judge said if Stevens came to be released, it would only be when parole authorities are satisfied his imprisonment was not necessary for the protection of the public.
The court heard he carried out his latest attack on the 26-year-old woman after following her in the park on the Sunday morning, as she went to meet a friend to be picked up for work.
Advocate depute Lindsey Dalziel said: “The accused then approached her from behind, reached over her and put his left hand fingers in her mouth and pulled her.
“The accused out his other hand on her right arm and began to pull her.”
“The complainer began to scream. The accused was trying to push her onto the ground but the complainer bit his fingers.
“The accused pushed her into the bushes and ran away.
“She watched him and saw him fall over but he then got up and continued running.”
Blood in mouth
The woman was shouting for help but there was no one around at the time.
She could taste blood in her mouth where Stevens had scratched her gums when he put his fingers in her mouth.
She met the friend, crying and in a distressed state.
The woman returned to her home and contacted police who launched an extensive operation, identifying the accused as a suspect.
Detectives turned up at his home near the park and Stevens said he had little recollection of the evening because of the amount he drank but remembered sending a text message to his social worker as it was his 40th birthday.
Caught on CCTV
He stated he had not been at public parks in Dunfermline but CCTV footage showed him leaving Pittencrieff Park at 6.24 am.
Ms Dalziel said: “He appeared furtive, was adjusting his clothing and broke into a run.”
Stevens was detained at an address in Nethertown Broad Street, Dunfermline, on June 5 last year and items of clothing matching those seen on CCTV were seized.
Stevens, who was on the sex offenders’ register at the time, admitted assaulting the woman with intent to rape her.
He will be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
Police praise for survivor
Detective Inspector Kelly McEwan, of the Fife Divisional Rape Investigation Unit, said: “This was a terrifying attack which I’ve no doubt was sexually motivated and would have been even more severe if the woman had not managed to fight him off.
“Fortunately she was not seriously injured but was left extremely shaken and upset. I want to thank her for her courage.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to say that Police Scotland is determined to bring sexual offenders to justice.
“We treat all sexual crime with the utmost seriousness and encourage anyone who has been the victim of sexual offending to come forward where they will be supported by specially trained officers.
“You can contact officers via 101, or 999 if it is an emergency.”