‘Jekyll and Hyde’ rapist repeatedly assaulted victims over five-year period
COURT: Fife man seized one victim by throat and kept on punching her
A “Jekyll and Hyde”-style crook looks set to face a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of raping and physically assaulting two women over a more than five-year period.
Michael Stuart, 27, of High Street, Burntisland, preyed on the two females, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at addresses in Inverness and Kirkcaldy.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Stuart started physically abusing his first victim in November 2006.
He then repeatedly raped her on various occasions between March and December 2007.
In October 2008, Stuart started to assault another woman. He continued to attack her until May 2012.
Stuart then waited almost two years before raping her some time between November 1 2011 and December 31 2011.
The story emerged yesterday following a week-long trial before judge Lady Scott.
Stuart had denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to a total of seven charges. Prosecutors withdrew two of the charges during proceedings.
After three hours of deliberations, jurors returned guilty verdicts to the five remaining charges of rape and assault.
Following the verdict, judge Lady Scott remanded Stuart in custody ahead of a sentencing hearing next month.
She told him: “I am going to defer sentence for the court to obtain a social work inquiry report. It will be in your interests to cooperate with the authors of this report.”
During proceedings, prosecution lawyer Mark McGuire told jurors how Stuart started abusing his first victim when she was a 17-year-old expectant mother in November 2006.
The assaults, which took place at addresses throughout Inverness, continued until January 2008.
Mr McGuire told the court how Stuart would seize the victim by the throat, hold her against a wall and repeatedly punch and kick her on the body during the attacks.
On one occasion, the court heard how Stuart used a knife to cut the woman’s clothing. He also called her derogatory names.
The woman told the court she plucked up enough courage to give evidence after police investigating Stuart’s behaviour contacted her.
The court also heard from Stuart’s second victim, who was also a teenager when she first met him.
The female told the court how she was 18 when she met the accused.
She said Stuart could be charming and then angry within a few short moments.
Making reference to the book written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, the woman added: “He was like Jekyll and Hyde.”
Following conviction, Mr McGuire told Lady Scott that Stuart had convictions for violence, abduction and attempting to pervert the course of justice. He will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on December 12.
Michael Stuart was found guilty of five charges of rape and assault against two victims.