NEILSTON actor Kevin Guthrie has lost a bid to appeal against his conviction for sexually assaulting a vulnerable woman.

The Sunshine on Leith star was jailed in May after being found guilty of taking advantage of his 29-year-old victim.

Guthrie, a former pupil at St Luke’s High, in Barrhead, then launched a bid for freedom by instructing his legal team to challenge both his conviction and three-year sentence.

However, his appeal – lodged at the High Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh – has been rejected at the "first sift" stage.

A judge decided there are no "arguable grounds" for an appeal to proceed based on legal matters and evidence.

Sheriff Tom Hughes, who presided over Guthrie's trial, wrote a report on the case before the judge decided it should not proceed to a full appeal hearing.

Guthrie, 33, did not request to be released on bail pending his appeal and remains in custody.

He could still appeal to the "second sift" stage, where the case would be considered by two or three judges.

The trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how the sex attack took place at the flat of fellow actor Scott Reid, who played Methadone Mick in BBC TV’s hit comedy Still Game, between September 30 and October 1, 2017.

Guthrie insisted he had only “helped” the woman that night – but his DNA was found on her underwear.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Hughes told him: “You had an educational background and worked extremely hard to get a part in acting in acclaimed films.

“The court must show that women can be protected from domestic sexual offences.”

Guthrie had denied a sexual assault charge during a four-day trial.

The woman had been due to meet Guthrie and Mr Reid at a bar on the night of September 30.

However, Mr Reid received a call from a taxi driver to collect her, as she appeared ill.

He and Guthrie helped the woman into the flat in Glasgow’s Kelvindale area and put her on a bed.

Mr Reid called NHS 24, leaving Guthrie in the room “to make sure she was okay.”

But the woman recalled that, when Mr Reid wasn’t in the room, the bed covers were moved.

She told the court: “I remember my top being lifted up and my bra being held down.”

The trial heard the woman was groped by Guthrie before he performed a sex act on her.

She added: “There would be times when Scott would come back in the room and he would pull the covers back on top of me and pull my top down.”

Guthrie, who also starred in Sunset Song, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Legend of Barney Thomson and Netflix series The English Game, carried out a further two sexual acts and kissed her on the mouth, the court heard.

He refuted the accusations but was unable to explain why his DNA was found on the inside of the woman’s underpants.

As well as his jail sentence, Guthrie was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for an indefinite period.

He was told he had committed the crime while he was in “a position of trust.”