South Scotland

Rapist who attacked women in is jailed

James Gellately Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption James Gellately was jailed for 10 years

A rapist who carried out a series of brutal attacks on four women has been jailed for 10 years.

Judge John Morris told James Gellately, 27, he was a "real and present danger" to the public, especially women.

He was found guilty of four rapes, an indecent assault and three assault offences.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Gellately attacked his first victim in 2006 and 2007 at houses in Dumfries, Ecclefechan, Annan and Eastriggs.

During the ordeal, the woman had her head forced into a bath of water and her face was held under the surface.

She was pinned down, grabbed by the throat, repeatedly punched and bitten on the body.

She also had jewellery removed from her body with pliers and her hair cut off and Gellately brandished a screwdriver at her and threatened to kill her.

Gellately also blindfolded her and sexually assaulted her.

He raped his second victim in 2009 at a house in East Kilbride.

The woman was also subjected to assaults by Gellately, who kicked her on the head, pinned her down, seized her by the throat and cut her hair.

He also took a phone from her to stop her calling for help and made her take more than the recommended dose of a medication.

Gellately's third victim was raped at a house in Kilmarnock, in Ayrshire, and she was also physically attacked by him.

'Escalating pattern'

A fourth woman was raped by Gellately at a roadside south of Sanquhar, in Dumfriesshire, in August 2013.

Gellately repeatedly raped the same woman at a house in Kilmarnock later that month.

Defence counsel Susan Duff said Gellately continued to deny the offences.

She told the court that the convicted sex attacker had been assessed as being at a high risk of re-offending.

Mrs Duff said that from reports it had emerged that "the root cause" stemmed from his traumatic childhood and the very difficult circumstances he grew up in.

Gellately was also placed on the sex offenders' register.

Det Ch Insp Samantha McCluskey welcomed the sentence.

She said: "This man was found guilty of a number of charges including rape, assault and threatening behaviour.

"Gellately targeted vulnerable women, securing their trust before embarking on an escalating pattern of abusive behaviour throughout the relationships."

She praised the courage the women had shown throughout the investigation.

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