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Media caption'Giving evidence at my rape trial was very intimidating'

Cathryn Coutts was raped in Edinburgh's Greyfriars kirkyard in November 2009 but it took years to get a DNA match and identify her attacker.

The case came to court last summer, almost eight years after the night of the attack.

Cathryn says that after so long it felt like a "memory test" and that waiting in court was like "hell".

"It is just an awful feeling," she says.

"You just want it over with."

  • Rape victims 'should not attend court' says Scotland's top judge

After the assault Cathryn turned to alcohol but she says it was "the wrong coping mechanism" and it wrecked her life.

She has now gone through treatment and says she has turned her life around.

Cathryn waived her right to anonymity to speak to the BBC because she says she no longer wishes to feel ashamed.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The rape happened at Greyfriars kirkyard in 2009

She wants to give other victims the confidence to come forward but admits that standing up in court is terrifying.

"I want to say to people that there is light at the end of the tunnel," she says.

"I have been able to turn my life around but you have to talk to people.

"It is intimidating.

"You build yourself up. You psyche yourself up. You get yourself in a terrible state.

"I was actually shaking. In the witness box I was physically shaking. You are simply not at ease."

Scotland's most senior judge has told the BBC that victims of rape and sexual assault should be able to give a filmed statement within 24 hours of the event to a specially-trained police officer.

Image copyright Iain McLellan/Spindrift Photo Agency
Image caption Cy Sullivan was sentenced to five years for the rape

Cathryn backs the idea.

"It is a hard thing to talk about anytime to anyone," she says.

"Rather than having to stand up in front of all these people a one-to-one would have made all the difference."

Cy Sullivan, from Shetland, was convicted last year after a routine swab was taken when he was charged with assaulting a bouncer in October 2015.

It matched the DNA found at Greyfriars Churchyard.

He claimed he and his victim had consensual sex, but a jury convicted him of raping Cathryn while she was so intoxicated she could not have given consent.

He was jailed for five years.

In court Cathryn described what happened to her as "a living nightmare".

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