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Daily Record
Daily Record
Tim Bugler

Scots rapist labeled 'a danger to women' jailed for 10 years after series of sickening attacks

A serial rapist was labelled "a danger to women" and jailed for 10 years today for a series of attacks against female partners.

Perverted, Sean Hartley, 34, was told by judge Lord Mulholland that he was "a violent domestic abuser of women."

Hartley, from Morayshire, admitted three rapes of three separate women and a series of assaults including an incident in Burghead in 2009 when he pushed a fourth woman onto a cooker, and the domestic abuse of a fifth woman.

His first, and youngest, victim was only 15 when he raped her in Forres in 2005, and Hartley himself was still only 17 at the time.

The locations of his crimes also included Inverness, Culloden, Elgin and Nairn, and ranged back over a period of more than 15 years, ending in December 2019.

Lord Mulholland, who read victim impact statements from three of Hartley's victims, also made him subject to an extended sentence of a further four years after the ten years' custody, during which time he can be recalled to prison if he re-offenders.

Hartley appeared for sentence at the High Court in Stirling, having pleaded guilty to the offences at the High Court in Inverness in February on the day he was due to face trial.

The court in Stirling heard that "for a variety of reasons" it had taken some time to get to the point where sentence could be imposed.

Lisa Gillespie, the advocate depute, said in February that Hartley had slapped, punched and kicked his victims, as well as spitting on them and calling them derogatory names.

During two of the attacks he compressed his victims' necks, restricting their breathing, and during another he held a pillow over a woman's face.

The court heard how one woman received what she described as "the worst beating" at the hands of Hartley, during which she was "crying and begging him to stop".

The assault left the woman in such a state that she could "barely recognise herself", the court was told.

Ms Gillespie told the court that during one of the rapes the woman "repeatedly told him no but he insisted".

After another rape he apologised to his victim.

The court also heard how Hartley had subjected a former partner to a campaign of abuse which included physical assaults and threats to kill.

Ms Gillespie said Hartley had prevented the woman from contacting friends and family during their relationship and had kept a constant check on her whereabouts, often demanding she send him pictures of her surroundings when they were apart.

He also told the woman what clothes she was allowed to wear, forbidding anything that revealed her body.

Brian McConnachie, QC, defending, said that none of the women had needed to give evidence as a result of Hartley, who appeared for sentence by video link, tendering pleas.

He added: "He accepts drink and drugs have been a problem over the years, albeit drugs not so recently."

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