Rapist jailed for attacking women while they slept

High Court in Edinburgh
High Court in Edinburgh

A rapist who preyed on sleeping women after they had been drinking was jailed for six years.

Darren McCutcheon sexually assaulted a teenager while she lay in bed before raping a second woman in a similar attack more than two years later.

A judge told McCutcheon, 31, at the High Court in Edinburgh: “On each occasion the victim was asleep and under the influence of alcohol.”

Lord Woolman said: “Your conduct has had a major impact on each of them.”

The judge pointed out that McCutcheon’s first victim was a 17-year-old who was shocked to waken and find him groping her. The second woman had gone to a pub with McCutcheon before returning to a flat in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, where she felt sick and dizzy.

The next thing she remembered was waking up with McCutcheon attacking her. A relative later came to collect her from the flat and found her sobbing and curled up in a ball.

The court heard that the sex attacker maintained that he was innocent of the crimes and claimed that the second woman had consented to intercourse.

He told the writer of a background report that he could not understand why two women should independently allege that he committed similar offences.

Lord Woolman told McCutcheon: “In deciding on the appropriate sentence in this case I must principally have regard to the nature of the offences. These were two very serious sexual offences.”

The judge said his behaviour had caused “great distress and harm” and added: “There must be a clear message to deter you and others from such conduct.”

Lord Woolman said imprisonment was the only appropriate punishment.

Unemployed McCutcheon, formerly of Hunters Hill Court, Springburn, in Glasgow, was told that he would be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Defence counsel John Scullion QC said: “A significant custodial sentence is inevitable in this case standing the offences of which he was convicted.”

“He has confirmed to me he will cooperate with whatever programmes are required of him as a result of his conviction,” he said.