‘Jekyll and Hyde’ rapist fac­ing long jail sen­tence

27-year-old­abused­first vic­timwhen­she­waspreg­nant­teen

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - LOCAL NEWS -

A “Jekyll and Hyde” crim­i­nal is fac­ing a lengthy prison sen­tence af­ter be­ing con­victed by a jury of rap­ing and phys­i­cally as­sault­ing two women over a five-and-a-half-year pe­riod.

Michael Stu­art, 27, preyed on the two fe­males, who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, in In­ver­ness and Fife.

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 2007 and De­cem­ber 2007.

In Oc­to­ber 2008, Stu­art started to as­sault an­other woman. He con­tin­ued to at­tack her un­til May 2012.

Stu­art, who has pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for as­sault and ab­duc­tion, also raped her some time be­tween Novem­ber 1, 2011, and De­cem­ber 31, 2011.

The story emerged yes­ter­day fol­low­ing a week­long trial be­fore judge Lady Scott.

Stu­art, of Burn­tis­land, Fife, had de­nied any wrong­do­ing and pleaded not guilty to seven charges. Prose­cu­tors with­drew two of the charges dur­ing pro­ceed­ings.

Yes­ter­day, 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 sen­tenc­ing next month.

“She­begged him­tostop­but hecov­ered­her mouth­with­his hand”

Dur­ing pro­ceed­ings, pros­e­cu­tion lawyer Mark McGuire told ju­rors Stu­art started abus­ing his first vic­tim when she was a preg­nant teenager 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 her by the throat, hold her against a wall and would 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.

In his clos­ing speech to the jury, the ad­vo­cate de­pute de­scribed one of the times when Stu­art raped his vic­tim.

Dur­ing the at­tack the court heard how she begged him to stop but in­stead he cov­ered her mouth with his hand and also punched her on the stom­ach.

The woman told the court that 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.

She said Stu­art could be charm­ing and then an­gry within a few short mo­ments, adding: “He was like Jekyll and Hyde.”

Stu­art will be sen­tenced at the High Court in Ed­in­burgh on De­cem­ber 12.

GUILTY: Michael Stu­art was con­victed of rap­ing two women

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