A Fife woman who was beaten and raped during a nine-hour ordeal has slammed the “sickening” sentence handed to her attacker.
Vile Stephen Graham appeared at Edinburgh High Court on Tuesday and was jailed for six years.
The 29-year-old was found guilty of savagely beating his ex-partner Carin during their short relationship before raping her in February.
The thug was also found guilty of two threatening and abusive behaviour charges featuring police officers at a flat in Markinch and at Levenmouth police station last September.
Lord Summers handed Graham a five and half year sentence for the assault and rape charge and a further six months for strangling and beating Carin in January.
His victim, also 29, said she was left feeling “physically sick” after hearing of her violent attacker’s “pathetic” sentence.
She said: “It actually makes me feel physically sick. I think the justice system is messed up.
“It doesn’t send a very good message to other victims. At the end of the day, if a woman comes forward with something like this, it’ll mentally rip them apart.
“To admit something like this, it’s a massive hit on your life. I was in that dock for four and half hours and I was terrorised by his defence.
“He ripped me to shreds. Going through that pain, emotionally it came close to how I felt on the night he raped me.
“So to get a sentence like this, I feel that justice clearly hasn’t been served. I worry that other victims will see this now and think, why should they put themselves through the pain and suffering for a pathetic sentence like this.”
She added: “Even though I didn’t get the result I had hoped for in terms of the sentencing, anyone who has been a victim of something like this should still report it.
“People who do this kind of thing deserve to be named and shamed and reported to the police.”
Detective Inspector Paul Dick from Glenrothes CID said: “Stephen Graham is a violent and predatory individual who carried out a horrific and terrifying attack on a woman, who was left extremely distressed and traumatised by this ordeal.
“It is only because of her courage in coming forward to report the abuse she suffered that we were able to ensure Graham was brought to justice for his crimes and will now serve a custodial sentence.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the uniform staff who initially attended the incident and the continued hard work of the detectives and officers who progressed the enquiry to its conclusion.”
Defence solicitor advocate Chris Fyffe said his client maintained he had not behaved in the way that was described on the night of the rape despite DNA evidence.
He added that Graham’s family, who were in court, were supportive of him but did not “condone his criminal behaviour”.
A relative shouted “we love you Stephen” as he was led from the dock to begin serving his sentence which will be back dated to December.
Court hears of Graham’s controlling behaviour
Jurors in Graham’s rape trial at the High Court in Livingston heard gruelling evidence of the couple’s brief “toxic” relationship, including graphic recollections of Carin’s terrifying eight-hour ordeal in the brute’s Markinch flat.
She told the court how Graham pounced as she was putting something in the bin outside her home, knocking her out until she woke on his sofa with a lump on the back of her head.
Controlling Graham demanded she unlock her mobile phone so he could read her messages then accused her of cheating on him.
He then followed her into the bathroom, where he punched her nose with his fist before holding a kitchen knife less than an inch away from her chest.
Sobbing, Carin recalled how Graham repeatedly threatened to murder her as she stood trembling in the bath.
He then forced her into his bedroom, where he stripped her naked and raped her.
She only managed to escape with his car keys after he fell asleep on top of her.
Carin’s grandmother, 71, relived the moment her bruised and battered granddaughter turned up at her house around lunchtime on February 25.
She said: “She was crying hysterically and she had blood all over her face so I took her into the house and I asked her what had happened to her. She was shaking and very upset.
I said to her: ‘Who did that to you?’ and she said: ‘He did this to me. He’s raped me’.”
The gran called a friend who lived nearby and police arrived within minutes.
During the trial at the High Court in Livingston, the victim described Graham as “possessive” and said he continually harassed her. She said: “If I didn’t answer his messages I’d get 20 calls. If I didn’t answer he’d turn up at my door at stupid o’clock.
“It was stalking, more like harassment.”
The jury took just over three
hours to find Graham guilty.