At his trial at the Old Bailey in August Diggle, 37, of Bolton, Lancashire, claimed that he had mistakenly thought that his victim was inviting him to have sexual intercourse. The jury convicted him by a majority of 10-2.
Yesterday, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, the trial judge, David Williams, scathingly condemned Diggle's behaviour as he sentenced him after reading psychiatrists' reports.
The judge said: 'You betrayed the trust that she had reposed in you and you subjected her to a terrifying and degrading ordeal. I have come to the conclusion that your attitude to women leaves a great deal to be
Diggle, a loner who lives with his mother, was sacked by a health authority this year after he harassed a woman on a train. Michael Borrelli, for the defence, told the court yesterday that he was 'desperately scared' of the treatment he would receive at the hands of fellow prisoners in jail.
'The consequences of his conviction amount to the complete vilification of his character. It is inevitable he will be struck off from the roll of solicitors and it will result in the loss of all he holds in high esteem.'
The Old Bailey trial heard how what began as a lighthearted evening of Highland dancing ended in a drunken attack on the terrified Scottish solicitor, whom Diggle had met six weeks earlier.
He invited her to a St Andrew's night dance in London at which they both had a lot to drink. Afterwards the woman said that he could go with her to a friend's home until they both caught breakfast-time trains.
She said he could sleep on the living room couch, undressed with her back to him and got into a bed in the room in her knickers.
Later she awoke to find Diggle on top of her wearing only the lace cuffs of his Highland dress and a green condom.
She fought him off and fled into her friend's bedroom.
Diggle later told police: 'Well, I have been out with her. I have spent pounds 200 on her. Why can't I do what I did to her?'
His victim, who cannot be named, said yesterday that she had not led him on or contributed to the offence and that Diggle's comment to the police had made her feel like a prostitute.Reuse content