A DRUG dealer who raped one of his customers at knifepoint in his flat in Edinburgh has been jailed for 11 years.
Joachim Cardos, 32, from Gambia, west Africa, who is in the country illegally, was told by a judge that he carried out a “violent and persistent” attack on a woman who had been convinced she was going to die.
Lord Hardie said the effect of the offence on the 26-year-old victim, a marketing executive, had been “devastating” and she was undergoing psychological therapy.
“Her life has changed and she no longer feels safe. She sold her house, in which she had lived for many years, because you knew where she lived,” the judge added.
Detective Sergeant Mark Petrie, who led the investigation, said: “I would like to thank the victim for her bravery in coming forward – I sincerely hope she can continue to rebuild her life and put this ordeal behind her.”
Cardos had claimed the woman consented to sex but a jury yesterday took just 30 minutes to find him guilty after a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
The woman gave evidence that she knew Cardos as “Buba” and regularly bought £20 bags of cannabis from him over several months. She said she had fallen into the habit of smoking the drug to help her get to sleep, and had been given his number outside an Edinburgh night club. She would text him to arrange a purchase.
However, in October last year, after going to his flat in the Dalry area of the city and buying cannabis from him, he tried to kiss her. She resisted, saying she had a boyfriend. He pushed her into the bedroom.
“I could just see his eyes widen and his nose flare. It just looked like an angry face,” the woman said.
Cardos lay on her and she could not breathe.
“He said he was going to kill me,” she added. “He said to me, ‘Do you know how many people I have killed?’”
He grabbed her round the throat and she passed out briefly. When she came to she found he was not in the room, but he returned.
She said: “I saw the shadow of him coming into the room. This time he had a knife. He kept saying I was bad and he was going to kill me. I thought he had flipped or was on drugs or something.”
Cardos made her perform sex acts and raped her. Asked if she had agreed to sex, the woman said: “In exchange for getting out alive, yes.”
The advocate-depute, Neil Beardmore, revealed after the jury returned its guilty verdict that Cardos, who had no previous convictions, had arrived in the country on a visa, but overstayed and remained here illegally.
The defence solicitor-advocate, Jim Keegan, QC, said Cardos had been moved from prison to a psychiatric unit while on remand awaiting trial, but had been found sane and fit to plead and returned to custody. He did not accept he had raped the woman.
The court was told that no prisoner transfer agreement existed between the UK and Gambia so Cardos would have to serve his term in this country. He was expected to be deported on his release.
Lord Hardie jailed Cardos for three years for being concerned in the supplying of cannabis.
The rape charge was much more serious, he said.
“The evidence disclosed a violent and persistent attack on a defenceless young woman for your sexual gratification. She genuinely thought she was going to die,” said Lord Hardie.
He imposed an eight-year sentence, to be served consecutively, and ordered that Cardos, if he is not deported, be supervised for four years at the end of the jail term.