Local man who ‘wanted to sleep with 100 women’ brutally raped university student

Duncan Burns

A man who boasted he was going to sleep with 100 women at a university has been convicted of rape.

Duncan Burns, 24, of Birkhill, held a privileged position as an accommodation liaison officer at the University of Stirling.

But a jury heard evidence that Burns was a sexual predator who forced himself on a young female student.

His victim said she went back to her flat and “googled the definition of rape”.

Speaking through tears at the High Court in Livingston, she said: “I always perceived rape to be more like with a stranger or with violence. I knew I’d said no and he knew I was saying no. I had no doubts in my mind, but don’t think at the time I knew it was rape.”

The jury heard evidence that the woman and another female, who also had sex with Burns, went to police with almost identical stories about how he had abused them before raping them.

However the jury returned a majority verdict finding Burns not guilty of raping the second woman on two separate occasions.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, the woman he raped told how Burns used his strength to have sex against her will.

The woman, who was “shy” about relationships, repeatedly told him “no”.

She admitted she liked Burns and started going back to his room and said he constantly pressured her to have sex but she refused.

She alleged he raped her in one of the university’s halls of residence on March 23 last year. She said Burns kissed her on the breast before raping her and, after confirming that sex without consent was rape, she alerted authorities.

Asked by defence counsel Mark Stewart if she was pressing Burns to have a relationship with her, Burns’ victim replied: “Sometimes he’d say he wanted to sleep with 100 women and then he would commit to me.”

Burns, 24, of Rosemount Road, was originally charged with three counts of rape and six charges of assault. He had lodged special defences claiming any sexual contact he had with the two females was with consent. He also faced an allegation that he raped the other female on March 23 last year.

The Crown withdrew the assault charges at the close of the prosecution’s evidence and he was acquitted of those charges. Adjourning sentence until November 29, Judge Lord Mulholland told Burns: “This is a very serious matter.” Burns will have his name added to the sex offenders register.