[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 14 June, 2004, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Man jailed after date drug rape
High court interior
Symon had denied carrying out the drug rape
A Fife man convicted of drugging and raping a 21-year-old woman last June has been sentenced to five years in prison at the High Court in Edinburgh.

David Symon, 32, from Dunfermline, used the so-called date-rape drug GHB to subdue his victim, the court heard.

Symon's conviction is thought to be the first in Scotland involving the drug.

Judge Roger Craik QC told him: "You took advantage of a situation where the victim was unconscious and unaware of what was happening."

He added that the court took the matter "extremely seriously".

At an earlier hearing, the woman told the court that she was invited to a party on the outskirts of Dunfermline.

Drug traces found

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.

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

The drug, commonly known as GHB, is a clear, odourless liquid which produces feelings of euphoria in small quantities, like alcohol, but higher doses cause "an unrousable-type sleep" for one to four hours.

As well as receiving a five-year jail sentence, Symons was placed on the sex offenders register.

The victim, who has not been named, told BBC Scotland that she was no longer able to trust anybody.

She said: "I can never look at anybody, like a boy, in the same light."

Rape Crisis worker Sandy Brindley said women should be encouraged by the fact that it is possible in Scotland to bring such a prosecution.

She said: "If you are raped and drugs are involved there is a possibility you will get justice for your experience and that has to be welcomed."


SEE ALSO:
Man drugged and raped his victim
24 May 04  |  Scotland
GHB: Unpredictable club drug
29 Jun 03  |  Health


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific