A MAN who raped a woman in Lochgelly last year has been sent to prison for five and a half years.

Gordon Cowan (27) was sentenced at Livingston High Court on Thursday.

Cowan targeted the woman on April 22 2017 while they both attended a house party.

Detective Inspector Stuart Morris, of Fife’s Divisional Rape Investigation Unit, said: “I would like to thank the victim who showed great courage in reporting this particularly distressing crime.

“Although we welcome this conviction and hope it provides some degree of closure for the victim, we are also aware it will never take away the suffering Cowan inflicted on her.

“I would also like to thank Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre and Safe Space for their help and continued support of the survivors of sexual crime.”

He added: “In all cases of serious sexual crime Police Scotland will conduct a detailed and thorough investigation, working closely with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and other partner agencies to ensure that perpetrators such as Cowan are brought to justice and victims are supported.

"Anyone with information on sexual crime can contact Police Scotland on 101 or report this anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

A jury at the High Court in Livingston last month took less than an hour and a half to convict Cowan of the crime.

Jurors heard evidence that Cowan, 27, struggled with his victim in a bathroom, causing her to fall to the floor and strike her head.

He kissed her and bit her neck before raping her, then grabbed her by the hair and pushed her head against the toilet all to her injury.

Giving her evidence from behind a screen, the woman involved said was on a night out with two female friends after separating from her husband, when Cowan turned up at the party in a flat in Lochgelly, with a male pal.

She said she had drunk a glass of red wine and a bottle of Buckfast during the evening but admitted that her memory of the night was “blurry” in parts, possibly because of what she had drunk.

She said Cowan’s male friend had left in the early hours of the morning.

Her two female friends, who were both extremely drunk, had gone to bed after the all-night booze session, leaving only her and the accused awake.

She claimed she had a clear memory of Cowan bursting into the toilet of the one-bedroomed flat when she was partially undressed and forcing himself on her.