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Four years in jail for rape

A POLISH barman convicted of raping a drunk woman at a housewarming party in Lerwick in 2009 was jailed for four years on Thursday.

Last month 26 year old Michal Skindzier, of 5 Greenfield Place, was found guilty of rape at the High Court in Aberdeen by a majority of jurors after a five day trial.

The woman had been put to bed by others during the party because she was so intoxicated after a night out, but Skindzier had climbed into bed when she was asleep, undressed and raped her.

His victim woke up naked and found him lying beside her on 11 October 2009.

Skindzier, who moved to Lerwick with his wife and two children to find work, admitted sleeping with the woman, but denied the offence, claiming they had engaged in consensual sex.

Defence solicitor advocate John Keenan told the court that there had been no violence involved and it was at the lower end of the scale for such a crime.

He said Skindzier was a hard working man who had a number of jobs in town, including working in a bar where he had met the woman, and no previous convictions in Britain or Poland.

Mr Keenan added that his wife was standing by him and continued to visit him in custody.

During the trial the woman said the last thing she remembered was being in a nightclub, but “knew that something had happened that should not have happened. A sexual thing.”

She told the court her first memory was being upset and still quite drunk, though she could not remember why.

Others in the house had heard sounds of sexual activity coming from the room.

Judge Lord Bracadale told Skindzier: “While other men in the party looked after this woman, you took advantage and raped her.”

Shetland’s police chief David Bushell said Skindzier had “carried out a horrific and cowardly attack on a young woman”.

He commended the woman for her great courage in coming forward to the police to report the attack that led to the swift arrest of her attacker and her assistance during the enquiry.

He added that the jail sentence was “a testament to the dedicated investigative work of police officers and support staff involved in this case”.

Chief inspector Bushell said: “Today’s sentence cannot undo the damage that has been caused to this young woman’s life, but hopefully it can provide her with some peace of mind that justice has been served.”