Rapist jailed for sex attacks in Dundee and Galashiels

The High Court in Edinburgh
The High Court in Edinburgh

A sex offender has been jailed for raping three sleeping victims over a five-year period.

Matthew Ferguson carried out those sex attacks on three teenagers at houses in Dundee and Galashiels.

Ferguson, 24, of Wellgrove Street, Dundee, had denied a series of charges, but after a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh he was found guilty of an indecent assault and three rapes committed between March 2011 and April 2016.

In all four cases, his victims were said to have been asleep and incapable of giving or withholding consent.

One victim, now 21, told the court that she first fell victim to Ferguson when she was aged 13 and staying overnight at a house in Galashiels as a guest at a party.

She later told police that Ferguson had gone into the room where she was sleeping and molested her.

She said that on a second occasion when she was aged 14 she was targeted again.

She had not been drinking, she said, adding: “I am a very heavy sleeper and groggy when I come to.

“It took me a minute or so to realise someone was lying on top of me.”

She told officers that she felt discomfort and a burning sensation and found it slightly difficult to breathe because of the weight on her.

The victim said she was crying when she later told her father what Ferguson did to her. She also said that a woman gave her the morning-after pill following the attack.

A second woman, now 21, told the court that in the spring of 2016 she was staying with her then boyfriend at a bedsit in Dundee when Ferguson visited.

She said he and her boyfriend were discussing a phone app and she fell asleep after midnight. Ferguson went to sleep on the floor, she told advocate depute Richard Goddard, and the next thing she remembered after falling asleep was “someone on top of me”.

The woman told the court: “I was lying on back, and I never lie on my back.”

She said she did not want to open her eyes, adding: “I was too scared.”

She said she woke up to hear her boyfriend shouting: “Get off her.” Ferguson was still on top of her when she heard those words, she said.

She said she was scared of Ferguson “in case anything else happened”.

She told the court: “I thought I had been raped.”

Ferguson had been on bail and was remanded in custody following yesterday’s guilty verdicts.

Sentence was adjourned until next month but he was put on the sex offenders’ register in the meantime.

Trial judge Lady Ailsa Carmichael called for the preparation of a background report and psychiatric report ahead of sentencing.

Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson said Ferguson had been deemed fit to stand trial by a psychiatrist.