Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Rapist from Falkirk jailed for threatening texts

A convicted rapist who bombarded two women with texts in which he threatened to burn down their homes has been jailed for life.

Graham Sneddon, 32, from Falkirk, admitted sending texts which contained threats of violence.

Judge Lord Pentland branded him a "high risk" and issued an Order for Lifelong Restriction at Edinburgh High Court.

The sentence means that Sneddon will only be released when he is judged to be no longer a threat to the public.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that one of the messages sent to the women read: "Let's see how long you have your kids after tomorrow."

He sent another message in which he detailed the objects in one of the woman's home - although she had no knowledge of Sneddon ever visiting her.

When passing sentence, Lord Pentland told Sneddon that he would have to serve at least 18 months in prison, adding: "Having considered all of the evidence, I am satisfied that you present a high risk to public safety.

"The punishment part of your sentence will be 18 months. I must emphasise to you that you will not be released at the end of that sentence.

"You will only be released from custody once the parole board consider that you no longer present a risk to the public."

Rape convictions

Sneddon, from Falkirk, had originally appeared at the town's sheriff court to admit two charges of sending text messages to two women which contained threats of violence and a charge of struggling with the police on 6 July 2012.

Prior to this he had been jailed in 1998 for raping a 14-year-old boy. He also abused two girls after his 2002 release.

Sheriff John Mundy sent the case to the High Court in Edinburgh in August 2013 saying he thought the maximum sentence that he could impose would be too light.

During proceedings, the court heard how Sneddon and one of the women, who was living in the Melton Mowbray area in England, had been contacting each other for a couple of years using social network Facebook.

She thought they were "just friends" and told him to stop calling her "babe" and saying that he loved her.

When she deleted him from Facebook in May 2012, she began to find missed calls on her phone and threats that Sneddon would "smash her partner's face in".

She received a text telling her: "Kiss your kids goodnight... it maybe the last time you see them."

Around this time she found that she had 237 texts from Sneddon's phone.

The other victim, another former Facebook friend of Sneddon, was told: "Let's see how long you have your kids after tomorrow."

Sheriff Mundy was told that both women had reported Sneddon to police in Leicestershire.

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