Tayside and Central Scotland

Ex-police officer Stephen Cooperwhite jailed for rapes

Stephen Cooperwhite
Image caption Cooperwhite resigned from the police last year

A former police officer has been jailed for six years after being convicted of raping two women - one of whom was heavily pregnant.

Stephen Cooperwhite's trial heard his pregnant victim had a medical condition which meant intercourse could damage her or her unborn child.

His other victim was a trainee police officer who worked alongside him with the Central Scotland force.

He had denied raping either woman, forcing them to give evidence in court.

The trial was told Cooperwhite, 35, beat up and bullied his first victim for years before he raped her in 2002, putting her and her unborn child in danger.

He had been working as a flower delivery man in Benbecula, in the Outer Hebrides, at the time and did not join the police until after the rape.

She gave evidence of her ordeal to a lawyer but was too scared to press charges until the second victim came forward in 2010.

'Personal safety'

Cooperwhite, from Paisley, targeted the trainee officer when she was a colleague at Central Scotland Police, repeatedly attacking her at a house in Stirlingshire.

She eventually told her bosses and a probe in 2010 led detectives to find out about victim Cooperwhite's other victim.

Passing sentence at the High Court in Glasgow, judge John Beckett QC told Cooperwhite: "You have been convicted of raping two different women. You have a very limited criminal record, a good record of employment and public service in the job you latterly had.

"You raped one of your victims when she was more than six months pregnant. She was told any intercourse could affect her and her unborn child. You knew that and proceeded to rape her anyway."

Defence counsel Thomas Ross asked for Cooperwhite's sentence to be restricted because of his previous good character.

Mr Ross added: "There have been issues for him regarding his personal safety. It has has a long term effect on him and his mental health. He is in the depths of despair as the result of these circumstances.

"It is his intention to put this behind him on his release and live a law-abiding life in future."

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