A CIVIL case against a man cleared of rape has begun after his alleged victim raised a legal action seeking damages.

Stephen Coxen, 23, from Bury in Lancashire, is being sued by a woman who accuses him of raping her in St Andrews, Fife, in 2013.

Coxen denied the charges and in November 2015 a jury found the case against him not proven, which in Scotland is an acquittal.

His alleged victim has launched a civil action which is being heard at the Personal Injury Court in Edinburgh.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, began giving evidence on Tuesday, describing waking up to find a stranger having sex with her after a night out.

The court heard she had been drinking alcohol on a night out during Freshers Week in St Andrews in 2013, but her memory was blank for parts of the evening.

She told of having gone to a flat party and drank four ciders, a bottle of "pink wine", a bottle of champagne and vodka mixed with champagne.

The court heard she went to Lizard Lounge nightclub, but recalls little other than having a cigarette.

She said her next recollection was being at her front door with a man she did not recognise and she panicked.

She said she struggled to open the door and dropped the keys and the man took them and let them in.

The court heard she "came round" lying in bed naked with a stranger on top of her having sex.

She said: "I came round, realised what was happening and became upset. I was just crying.

"I remember I felt sick. I was lying down on my back. I was crying. I tried to move and lean on my elbow.

"It was like I couldn't really breathe properly, I was just panicking.

"At one point I could feel the tears coming down my neck.

"It was like I wasn't there for a minute. I wasn't really paying attention. I didn't feel like I was in my own body."

The court heard the man forced her to perform another sexual act before leaving the property.

The case, understood to be the first of its kind in Scotland, continues on today (Wednesday).