Rapist is found dead in prison

A convicted rapist from Galashiels was found dead in prison at the weekend, just days after being sentenced to five years for historic sexual assault.

By Kevin Janiak
Monday, 20th June 2022, 12:46 pm
Updated Monday, 20th June 2022, 12:46 pm
Stephen Charters, who was found dead in prison at the weekend after being sentenced for raping a teenaged girl.
Stephen Charters, who was found dead in prison at the weekend after being sentenced for raping a teenaged girl.

As reported in last week’s Southern Reporter, Stephen Charters, who was 57, received a sentence of at least five years behind bars, along with an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR), which meant he would be subject to monitoring for the rest of his life.

The judge at his sentencing, Lady Carmichael, told him the five-year sentence did not mean he would be released then, and that he would only ever get out of jail if parole authorities decided his imprisonment is no longer necessary for the protection of the public.

However, he had shown no remorse for the crimes, and insisted sex between him and his teenage victim was consensual.

Sign up to our daily The Southern Reporter Today newsletter

The teenager had sought Charters for help after becoming homeless due to a break-up with her boyfriend, but Charters took her to hotels in Edinburgh and subjected her to sexual assaults and rape.

Charters told the court he held "Christian beliefs" and was involved with the church in Edinburgh as a young adult. The girl he raped in hotels had attended a church in Leven, in Fife, where he acted as a worship leader.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “On Sunday, June 19, officers were made aware of the death of a male within HMP Edinburgh.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”