Rapist who attacked pregnant women and baby gets life sentence
A MAN who carried out a catalogue of attacks on pregnant women and a baby has been given a life sentence.
James Paterson, 24, left footprints on the stomach of one mother-to-be and bit another so severely she still had teeth marks two years later.
He threw a baby boy against the headboard of a cot and dropped him on the floor.
At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Bannatyne told Paterson, of Cardenden, Fife: “There is, in my view, having regard to all the evidence I heard and the terms of the [background] reports, no alternative to passing an order for lifelong restriction.”
The order means Paterson can be held in custody indefinitely, or until the parole board deems it safe to release him.
The judge ordered that
Paterson serve at least five years before he became eligible for parole.
Earlier this year, Paterson stood trial and denied a
series of offences against three women and a child, who cannot be named, at addresses in Edinburgh and Fife between 2006 and 2011.
He claimed the women had lied against him and that two had consented to sex with him, and that the mother of the child was responsible for injuring the baby.
However, a jury convicted him of attempting to murder the three women, raping two of them and assaulting the child to his severe injury and to the
danger of his life.
The first victim, 22, broke down in tears as she told the jury how Paterson tried to set her on fire with a deodorant can, raped her, stabbed her in the hand with a penknife and turned her into a “nervous wreck”.
Another woman, 20, also wept as she described how she was repeatedly “strangled” by Paterson, raped, and was kicked in the stomach when she was
expecting a baby.
She said she still had Paterson’s teeth marks in her arm, two years after he bit her.
His third victim, 23, said
Paterson jumped up and down on her baby bump “like it was a trampoline”, and had choked her three times until she lost consciousness.
Paterson, 23, repeatedly threw a baby against a headboard, stopped his mother from tending to him, dropped him on the floor, bound him tightly in a blanket and rolled him into a cot so he banged his head and body on the bars.
The violence started the day the baby was born.
Dr Alastair Wilkinson, a radiologist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, said two broken ribs, revealed during X-rays of the child at aged four months, were consistent with an adult squeezing him with “all their might”.
In text messages to victims, Paterson had warned: “I will slit your fat face wide open… I will kill you with my bare hands.”
Defence solicitor-advocate Gordon Martin said Paterson’s criminal history had been at a much lower level than the current offences, and there was no issue taken with the assessment in background reports of the risk he posed.
“He accepts against that background the degree of inevitability that the court will impose an order for lifelong restriction,” added Mr Martin
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