Kelso rapist sent to prison for 13 years

In passing a 13-year prison sentence to Kelso rapist Ian Ramsay today, Friday, Edinburgh High Court judge Lord Richardson branded the ex-squaddie a “danger to society”.

By court reporter
Friday, 5th August 2022, 12:23 pm
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 12:23 pm
Edinburgh High Court.
Edinburgh High Court.

The 49-year-old Gulf War veteran carried out an “appalling” campaign of abuse against nine terrified women during a six-year crime spree in which he “obsessively pursued” women, physically assaulted them, stalked them and raped four of his victims.

Ramsay had denied a string of charges during his trial. He originally faced 47 charges, but the jury was only asked to return verdicts on 21.

He was acquitted of one rape, three assaults and a stalking allegation following a trial last May.

Sentence had been deferred for the court to obtain reports on Ramsay’s background. The case called again today and the court heard how Ramsay still expressed no remorse for his offences.

Passing sentence, Lord Richardson told Ramsay that he’d be supervised and be under licence for three years following his release from custody.

He said: “The offences to which you have been convicted of show that you engaged in a course of behaviour that can only be described as a campaign of abuse against these women.

“You refused to take no for an answer. It is clear to me from both from the evidence that I have heard and from the Victim Impact Statements which I have read that you made the lives of these women traumatic and utterly intolerable.

“They are to be commended for coming forward to give evidence against you.”

During proceedings, the court heard from one woman who was raped by Ramsay in hotels.

She said: "He is so manipulative. He is evil. He is a horrible, horrible person and is a danger to society."

The woman met Ramsay, whom she knew as Ewart, through an online dating site. She spoke of how he blackmailed her to continue having sex with him after he stole intimate images and videos from her phone.

She said: "We would meet in various restaurants and hotels in Glasgow and occasionally the Borders."

But the woman said he became possessive and controlling. "It was non-stop harassment. A number of times I tried to break off with him, but he would not have it," she said.

"It was horrendous. It was the worst experience of my life," the woman told the court.

She said that Ramsay stole her phone and took images from it to blackmail her with. She added: "It was terrible. I couldn't get rid of him. At one stage I was even contemplating suicide it was that bad."

She said: "I would need to go along with him and meet up with him in various hotels and I just did not want to be there."

Prosecutor Kath Harper asked her if she had wanted to have sex with him on these occasions and she replied: "No."

She said: "I thought it was the only way I could manage the situation because he had these images."

She said Ramsay had taken intimate images and videos of sex from her phone and threatened to send them to her boss, family and friends.

She said: "I was absolutely traumatised. It was horrendous.". She said Ramsay was "unhinged" and added: "He just would not take 'no' for an answer."

The woman said that during a confrontation at a spa hotel in Renfrewshire he head butted her in the face, leaving her bleeding.

She said she made her way to the reception and added: "I was terrified. He was roaming the grounds looking for me." Staff at the reception contacted police.

Ramsay was found guilty of raping the woman on various occasions between January 1 and December 31 in 2014.

He was also convicted of stalking her by repeatedly calling and sending her messages, making threats to disclose intimate images of her and accessing her phone and downloading the images without her permission.

He was also convicted of assaulting her by butting her.

Ramsay went on to rape a second woman at an address in Jedburgh while she was asleep or intoxicated on occasions between January 2016 and December the following year and bombarded her with calls and messages and threatened to distribute intimate images of her.

Another woman was raped by him at a house near Kelso while she was asleep or intoxicated between November 2016 and January 2017 on two occasions.

The fourth rape victim was subjected to sex attacks by him in Jedburgh in 2019. She was also physically assaulted by him. She said she was subjected to blackmail by him. Ramsay admitted he had images of the woman which he claimed they had taken together, but denied using them to threaten her.

Ramsay continued to commit stalking offences against women into 2020 and even perpetrated the abuse when he was freed under court bail orders.

Ramsay, who was previously jailed for theft and assault, was remanded in custody for the preparation of a background reports.

But in court today, defence advocate Ronnie Renucci QC asked Lord Richardson to be as lenient as possible with his client.

He said: “He has been a valuable member of society in the past. He served in the army and he has served in the first Gulf War.

“Since being discharged from the army, he has been in almost continuous employment.

“He’s not an unintelligent man. He accepts that if he does not address his offending, he spend the rest of his life in and out of prison.”

However, Lord Richardson told Ramsay, who has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register, that jail was the only sentence available to him.