Editor’s comment: The victim of this vile rapist has shown extraordinary bravery

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Giving evidence in court as a victim of any crime can be a harrowing experience.

Despite efforts to make courtrooms more human in recent years they can still be intimidating places for people unused to their unique environment.

Cross-examination by lawyers can inevitably be an upsetting experience as a victim’s version of events is questioned.

But how much worse must it be when the crime in question is a violent, brutal and degrading rape?

The victim of rapist Scott Southall was subjected to a prolonged and vicious attack at his hands.

Despite this she was courageous enough to give evidence which saw this violent thug put where he belongs - behind bars.

Detectives have told the Guardian that the victim’s evidence was crucial in securing his conviction and said that without her bravery all their hard work would have been in vain.

They have also paid tribute to her ‘dignity and resolve’ in facing her attacker and ensuring he faced justice.

I hope this brave woman can move on with her life despite the terrible emotional strain the attack must have placed on her.

Southall has plenty of time to reflect on his disgusting crime as he serves his 15 years in jail.