Serial rapist jailed for over seven years

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A Borders sex offender has been jailed for raping four sleeping victims over a seven-year period.

John Rooney carried out those sex attacks at houses in Selkirk, Town Yetholm and Hamilton in South Lanarkshire from 2008 onwards.

The High Court in Edinburgh

The High Court in Edinburgh

The 49-year-old, formerly of Kelso and Jedburgh, had denied a series of charges, but after a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh last month he was found guilty of four counts of rape.

Those crimes were all committed betweenMay 2008 and July 2015, and in all four cases his victims were said to have been asleep and incapable of giving or withholding consent, contrary to the 2009 Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act.

Two of the charges added that on occasions when his victim was awake, Rooney struggled with her and demanded sexual contact.

Rooney was sentenced to be imprisoned for seven years and four months.

He first appeared in connection with those allegations in private at Selkirk Sheriff Court in July 2017, making no plea and being committed for further examination.

This wasn’t Rooney’s first conviction for sex offences.

In September 2015, he was found guilty of subjecting an 11-year-old girl to a terrifying sexual assault.

He denied attacking the girl on one occasion between April 2009 and April 2010 in South Lanarkshire but was convicted of attempted rape following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow and sentenced to four years behind bars.