Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Rapist who attacked four women in Fife jailed

Neil Ireland Image copyright Police Scotland

A predatory rapist has been jailed for 10 years for raping or sexually assaulting four women at homes across Fife.

Neil Ireland, 39, from Methil, was convicted of three offences of rape and three of sexual assault last month. He was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He raped one woman while she was in bed with her baby daughter.

He committed his crimes between 2008 and 2015 in Cupar, Leven and Methil.

No remorse

A judge told him: "It was, in my opinion, correctly stated by the Crown at your trial that you were a predator who befriended and exploited vulnerable women by taking advantage of them sexually, not caring whether they consented to what you did to them."

Lord Uist said: "Moreover, it was clear to me you considered you were entitled to act as you did and you have shown no remorse or regret."

The judge said a background report prepared on Ireland revealed that he used denial, minimisation and blame and portrayed himself as the victim.

Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson said Ireland was a first offender who had demonstrated in the past that he had "an excellent work ethic".

He said Ireland intended to co-operate with the authorities while serving his prison sentence and would take part in offender programmes.

Ireland will be on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

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