Highlands & Islands

Man convicted of raping women in Inverness and Kirkcaldy

A man has been convicted at the High Court in Edinburgh of raping and assaulting two women.

A jury found James Gilliard, 35, of Inverness, guilty of raping a 31-year-old woman in Kirkcaldy in an attack between March and June 2005.

He was also convicted of raping a 35-year-old woman in Inverness between January and February 2010.

Gilliard, who denied the charges, had previous convictions for assault and breach of the peace, it later emerged.

Judge Lady Carmichael deferred sentence on Gilliard for reports on his character.

Locked in

The court heard that Gilliard also assaulted his first victim by throwing her down a flight of stairs.

He also locked the woman in a cupboard and detained her there against her will.

Gilliard repeatedly punched, slapped, kicked and struck his second victim on the head and body, before she was later raped.

The court also heard that on 15 May 2015, at an address in Inverness, he committed a breach of the peace by shouting and swearing at a woman.

Police Scotland said Gilliard had been convicted of serious violent and sexual crimes.

Det Ch Insp Samantha McCluskey, of the national domestic abuse task force, said: "I hope today's conviction will send out a clear message that Police Scotland will robustly and sensitively investigate all domestic abuse related crimes - regardless of when the abuse took place - helping to ensure we keep people safe.

"I would like to commend the victims who came forward and assisted the police, for had it not been for their bravery and courage Gilliard may never have been brought to justice."

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