Serial domestic abuser Craig Harkins jailed for 12 years

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Paul HarkinsImage source, Police Scotland
Image caption,
Lady Rae told Craig Harkins he was "a manipulative, violent and controlling man".

A serial domestic abuser who raped his partner in a bathroom while her children shouted through the door has been jailed for 12 years.

Craig Harkins, 40, was convicted in February of a catalogue of offences involving four different partners.

The High Court in Glasgow heard he raped two of the woman and repeatedly physically assaulted all four.

The offences took place between 2006 and 2019 at locations in Glasgow and South Lanarkshire.

'Serious risk'

At the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lady Rae told Harkins: "The evidence from all the complainers revealed you as a manipulative, violent and controlling man, who would do anything to get his own way.

"It seems to me that, at times, you gained pleasure from abusing your victims. You take no responsibility for the crimes you have committed and thus have expressed no remorse whatsoever.

"You see yourself as the victim. In my view you are a serious risk to women who may enter a relationship with you."

Lady Rae ordered Harkins to be placed on the sex offenders register and to be monitored in the community for five years after his release for prison.

Bleach attack

During Harkins' trial one of his victims revealed how she kept a diary of her suffering at his hands.

This included raping her as her children screamed nearby.

He also put three further partners through horrific ordeals.

One was raped, left blistered by bleach and had her eyelashes pulled out.

Another was left concussed while pregnant and Harkin also threatened to video-call footage of him attacking her elderly father.

The final woman was battered amid false claims she had flirted with a hotel waiter.

'Terrifying' abuse

The crimes were committed between September 2006 and early 2019 at various locations including Glasgow's Castlemilk as well as Rutherglen and East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire.

Harkins, from Rutherglen, was initially described by partners as "fun loving" and "charming" but the court heard he quickly turned into a violent bully, who controlled the lives of the women.

Harkins, who was represented by Donald Findlay QC, continues to protest his innocence.

He appeared on court via a video link from prison.

Det Insp Iain Renfrew, from the Domestic Abuse Task Force, said: "Harkins subjected his victims to terrifying physical and emotional abuse, often within their own homes, and I would like to commend all the women who spoke up for their bravery.

"This investigation spanned eight months and saw officers working tirelessly to trace all of Harkins victims to ensure we could secure a successful conviction.

"I hope that victims of domestic abuse see this sentence today and find the courage to step forward and speak out."