Howe player jailed for six years

Girvan Imrie
Girvan Imrie

Howe of Fife rugby player Girvin Imrie has been jailed for six years for raping a teenager after playing in a sevens tournament.

Imrie grabbed his victim and raped her at a garden at the rear of Howe of Fife rugby club on May 5 last year.

Lord Kinclaven told him at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday that he had read a large number of supportive character references submitted to the court.

The judge said: “You are a first offender. You have previously been of good, indeed in your case exemplary, character.”

Lord Kinclaven said the events could be said to be completely out of character for Imrie.

He said: “The fact remains you have been found guilty by verdict of the jury of a serious sexual offence.”

Lord Kinclaven pointed out that the victim was only 19 at the time of the offence and was not known to Imrie prior to the night of the assault.

He said he had seen a victim statement which included the emotional and psychological impact.

The judge said there was clearly no alternative to a prison sentence and added: “The court requires to mark the seriousness of your offending.”

Imrie, a chemical engineer, of Tarvit Avenue, Cupar, had denied raping the woman at a garden near the Fife town’s Provost Wynd and Wide Pend, but was found guilty after an earlier trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

The victim said in evidence that she had been at the rugby sevens event at Duffus Park, Cupar, with friends and ended up at the clubhouse.

She said that after a few drinks she decided to go to the toilet but instead ended up outside.

She said: “I was very happily drunk. I remember thinking I had to phone my boyfriend, but I can’t remember if I phoned him.”

“I just remember somebody being behind me. I know he was quite strong. He was hurting my arm. I was scared. I remember a big, dark shadow. He never said a word,” she said.

She said the only part of him she could see was his hands as he held her in a vice-like grip and raped her before running off.

The court heard that a hat Imrie had been wearing that night was found close to where the rape occurred.

A DNA sample was taken from his victim, but went missing after the police station in Carslogie Road closed down the day after the attack.

But after hearing that police were investigating an incident at the rugby club Imrie told them he had consensual sex in the garden area that night.

Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson said the whole circumstances of the case were tragic both for the victim and for Imrie and his family.

He told the court that Imrie was an individual “who is unlikely to re-offend in the future”.

Mr Paterson said that Imrie had achieved both academic and sporting success.

The defence lawyer asked the judge to be as lenient as he could be in all the circumstances of the case.

Imrie was placed on the sex offenders’ register.