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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Man drugged and raped his victim
High court interior
Symon had denied carrying out the drug-rape
A man has been found guilty of using the drug GHB on a 21-year-old woman and subjecting her to a sex attack.

David Symon, 32, from Dunfermline, used the so-called date-rape drug to subdue his victim, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

Sentence was deferred until next month to enable background reports to be prepared.

Symon's conviction is thought to be the first in Scotland involving gammahydroxybutyrate or GHB.

The woman told the court that she was invited to a party on the outskirts of Dunfermline.

I was just sitting there and it was like my head would explode and I couldn't see in front of me
Rape victim
She said Symon gave her a couple of drinks from a bottle which she thought had once contained Irn Bru and he had some himself.

She said: "I didn't know what effect it might have. I was just sitting there and it was like my head would explode and I couldn't see in front of me."

The victim said the next thing she recalled was waking up in a house with Symon.

She was lying naked on the floor and Symon was on top of her.

Following her ordeal, Symon drove her home and remarked: "That was some adventure."

The woman slumped into bed when she got home but when she awoke she told her mother that she thought she had been drugged and the police were called.

Symon, of Pentland Terrace, had denied raping the woman on 1 June last year.

The charge stated that he had left his victim "bereft of the power of resistance" because he had given her gammahydroxybutyrate.

The unemployed labourer did not give evidence but the jury heard a tape recording of his interview with police in which he claimed the woman had been a willing partner.

He said: "She was going mental, as in loving it. Not once did I force myself on her at any time."

Known effects

Symon had also denied drugging the woman and suggested she could have been given the date-rape potion by someone else.

He shouted "I am innocent, thank you" as he was led to the cells after the jury found him guilty.

Judge Roger Craik QC remanded Symon in custody to await sentence next month.

An expert had told the court that the woman's account fitted the known effects of gammahydroxybutyrate.

Professor Ian Hindmarch said GHB - which was sometimes known on the streets as GBH after the English charge of Grievous Bodily Harm - has previously been linked to date-rape drug allegations.

The clear, odourless liquid produced feelings of euphoria in small quantities, like alcohol, but even slightly higher doses would cause "an unrousable-type sleep" for one to four hours.

Victims were likely to drift in an out of sleep and suffer muscle weakness which would make it difficult for them to do anything.

The court heard how police found the suspicious drink bottle in Symon's home and tests revealed traces of GHB.


SEE ALSO:
GHB: Unpredictable club drug
29 Jun 03  |  Health
'Date-rape' drug ban welcomed
29 Jun 03  |  Health


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