Highlands & Islands

Ex-police officer who raped three women told to 'burn in hell'

A former police officer who raped and sexually abused three women has been jailed for 14 years.

David Cunningham, 60, a father-of-five, from Farr, near Inverness, carried out his attacks over a 14-year period at various addresses in the Highlands.

One of the women was raped on a nightly basis between January 2005 and June 2008, the High Court in Glasgow heard.

As Cunningham left court after being sentenced, one of his victims shouted at him: "Burn in hell".

Judge Lord Armstrong described Cunningham's offending as "controlling and coercive".

The woman who was raped between 2005 and 2008 was also assaulted as she slept on various occasions between January 2007 and June 2008.

Cunningham also forced to go outside in her underwear in bad weather.

Choked violently

He raped another woman once or twice a week between December 2000 and April 2004.

His third victim was sexually abused between June 2011 and October 2014. On one occasion in September 2012 he choked her so violently she feared she was going to be strangled.

All the offences were committed at various addresses in the Inverness area.

Lord Armstrong told Cunningham, who had been found guilty following a trial: "For three years you repeatedly raped one woman one or two times a week.

"You raped another woman over a three and a half year period and you did so on a nightly basis..

"You sexually assaulted your third victim. Your conduct was for your sexual gratification and was controlling and coercive.

"All the woman say in their victim impact statement that what you did has had a significant and lasting detrimental effect on them. You appear to lack any remorse."

'Bravery' of victims

Defence counsel Jennifer Bain said: "Mr Cunningham was found guilty after trial. His position at trial was one of denial, but he now accepts there are aspects of his behaviour that he should be questioning.

"He is in a long-term relationship and his partner is standing by him and he has the support of friends and ex-colleagues."

Cunningham was placed on the sex offenders register.

Police Scotland said Cunningham took advantage of the women "for his own depraved sexual gratification".

Det Insp Donald MacDonald said: 'I want to pay tribute to the three victims for their bravery in coming forward and assisting us with our inquiry which ultimately led to Cunningham being apprehended and brought to justice.

"I hope that today's conviction will help bring some closure for them."

Related Topics