Cy Sullivan, 26, raped his 46-year-old drunk victim in Greyfrairs Churchyard in Edinburgh in November 27, 2009, and left her naked from the waist down.
DNA was recovered, but at the time, there was no match in the national database.
But, commercial diver Sullivan’s sordid past was uncovered when he was charged with assaulting a bouncer in October 2015 and a routine DNA swab was taken. His DNA matched that of the Greyfriars Churchyard rapist.
Sullivan, from Shetland, claimed that he and his 46-year-old victim had consensual sex, but a jury convicted him of raping her while she was so intoxicated she could not given consent.
At the High Court in Glasgow on Friday, judge Lady Rae told Sullivan: “You raped a lady almost twice your age. You took advantage of her intoxicated state.
“She has been left seriously traumatised by what you did and with having to relive what she remembered, and the shame and embarrassment she felt when she was discovered by police in the state of undress that you left her in. She was a stranger to you.”
The court heard that the victim was found by police after the rape wandering half naked in the cemetery in a confused and drunken state.
She described that happened to her as “ a living nightmare.”
In evidence, she said she travelled from her home in the Highlands to attend a conference in Edinburgh and decided to visit the grave of Greyfriars Bobby.
The woman said she had at least eight glasses of wine . A police officer who saw her hours later at 5am described her as ‘intoxicated.”
The court heard that police officers saw the woman standing at railings inside the graveyard.
She was taken to Gayfield police station and then examined by doctors and a DNA sample was taken.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was asked by prosecutor Ian Wallace: “Do you remember leaving Greyfriars pub,” and she sobbed as she said: “No. I remember coming round in the graveyard and there was a police lady. I was frozen and I was disorientated. I tried for some time to find my way out. It was like something happened and I had just come round. It was awful. I just felt awful, embarrassed. I had no clothing on my bottom half.”
The woman told the jurors that she had no memory of what happened after she left the pub until the police found her.
She was asked if she had any recollection of anyone having sex with her and replied: “No.”
Mr Wallace then said: “Did you want to have sex with anyone that night,” and the victim said: “Definitely not.”
Sullivan told the court he had bought the woman a drink and then afterwards had sex with her. He claimed that she appeared fine to him and not drunk.
He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in May this year and yesterday was taken into court in a wheelchair and then walked the few feet into the dock using crutches.
His defence counsel David Nicolson said: “His family maintain their support of him, particularly his partner of three years.
“He has a good work record and has only one previous conviction.”
Lady Rae placed Sullivan on the sex offenders’ register.