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Sex attacker loses appeal against sentence for attempted rape of an Australian backpacker in Wester Ross between Kinlochewe and Torridon; Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh rejected bid to have five-year prison term reduced for offence near Liathach

By Court Reporter

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The High Court in Edinburgh, where the appeal was rejected on Friday.
The High Court in Edinburgh, where the appeal was rejected on Friday.

A SEX attacker who lured an Australian holidaymaker on a camping trip to an isolated spot in the Highlands before assaulting her today (Friday) lost an appeal against his five year jail sentence.

Bruce Reid (52) befriended the 25-year-old woman, who was backpacking around Europe, after she arrived in Scotland.

The woman was walking from Inverness to visit standing stones when he pulled up in a car and offered her a lift which she accepted in August 2018.

She later agreed to go on a camping trip with him and after a visit to his home in Seatown, Cullen, in Moray, they set off with a tent which was pitched near to Liathach at the A896 between Kinlochewe and Torridon.

They both shared a drink of whisky but Reid began to consume more alcohol and began making advances on the woman who rebuffed him.

When he tried to cuddle her she told him to stop and made it clear she did not want to be touched.

But Reid grabbed her by the legs and pulled her towards him and she tried to push him away and attempted to defend herself with a camping tool.

He took it from her and pinned her down and sexually assaulted the woman before she managed to escape.

She called her boyfriend in Australia on her mobile phone and then rang 999 and hid for about an hour before police reached her. Officers found her hiding in a bush in a distraught state.

Reid pled guilty to assaulting the woman on August 8, 2018, with intent to rape her when he appeared at the High Court in Glasgow last year and was jailed by Lady Stacey.

But he lodged an appeal against the sentence and watched the legal challenge at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh from jail via a TV link.

His solicitor advocate Ann Ogg argued before Lord Brodie, sitting with Lord Turnbull, that the sentence imposed on Reid was "excessive".

She said the sentencing judge was not dealing with a case concerning the completed act of rape but an assault with intent to rape.

She said: "It is clear the appellant realises he has issues to address and is willing to address them."

Lord Turnbull said the sentencing judge had concluded that Reid had lured his victim into a false sense of security by offering her a lift and taking her to his home.

The appeal judge said it was plain from the description of events that Reid had engaged in "a violent and sustained sexual assault".

Lord Turnbull said: "The attack took place in an isolated location where the complainer was vulnerable."

He said that the impact on the victim was substantial and on her return to Australia she found herself unable to carry out her work and was given a part-time post.

She has suffered flashbacks and breakdowns and lost trust in other people after the ordeal at the hands of her attacker who she described as "such a monster".

Lord Turnbull said: "In the circumstances we are satisfied that the appellant's conduct was such as to merit a substantial custodial sentence."

He said the appeal judges were not persuaded that the sentence was excessive and refused the appeal.

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