Fife man jailed for abusing pregnant women and children
A man who committed a catalogue of violent and sexual offences against two pregnant women and two children in Fife has been jailed for eight years.
Darren Swain, 33, from Glenrothes was convicted of nine offences following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
They included the physical abuse of a seven-year-old and the mistreatment of a six-year-old.
Fife Police said Swain was guilty of some of the worst offending its public protection unit had ever seen.
Judge Lord Doherty described the 33-year-old's behaviour as "violent, controlling and in some respects sadistic".
The court heard Swain carried out the offences in the Cardenden, Lochgelly and Glenrothes areas between 1999 and 2010.
He attacked one 34-year-old victim at a house in Fife in 2008 forcing her onto a bed and indecently assaulting her.
She was also attacked by him at houses in Lochgelly and Glenrothes when she was punched, kicked and butted and he threatened to slit her throat.
He also assaulted a boy, aged between seven and eight between August 2008 and April last year. The child was punched, struck with a belt and hit with a metal pole.
He was also grabbed by the ears, had his throat compressed and was forced to sit on ice.
When an investigation was launched into this abuse it emerged another woman was indecently assaulted by Swain between 1999 to 2000 when she was pregnant.
A second boy, aged between six and eight, was ill-treated and shut in a bedroom for long periods of time.
Advocate depute Tim Niven-Smith said Swain was "a wicked, despicable, horrible, aggressive man".
Det Insp Derek McEwan, from the public protection unit at Fife Constabulary, said: "Darren Swain has today been convicted of some of the worst offending this unit has seen in recent times.
"He has preyed on the vulnerable and relied upon his own intimidation in a hope that this offending will never be brought to the attention of the police.
"I must praise the victims of this case who not only had the courage to come forward to the police but when required they gave evidence to ensure that justice was served."
Swain was also placed on the sex offenders register following his conviction for the indecent assaults.