'Disgraceful' East Lothian rapist jailed for five-year sexual violence campaign against two women

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A brutal, high risk rapist who subjected two women to an ordeal of violence and sex attacks has been jailed for eight years.

James McGhee, 22, began his campaign of abuse against victims while he was still a teenager.

The High Court in Edinburgh.

The High Court in Edinburgh.

READ MORE: ‘Jealous and controlling’ East Lothian rapist facing jail after five-year sexual violence campaign
A judge told McGhee at the High Court in Edinburgh: "You conduct was disgraceful and inexcusable. It has had a profound impact on them."

Lord Woolman said one victim suffers flashbacks in the wake of her suffering and questioned what she had done to make McGhee treat her in the way he did. The second said he "ruined her life".

The judge said that McGhee had initially begun relationships with the women well but became "controlling, violent and abusive".

Lord Woolman told him: "These crimes involve a significant escalation in your offending behaviour."

He pointed out that a risk assessment carried out on McGhee placed him in the high risk category for sexual offending. He ordered that McGhee be kept under supervision for a further three years.

McGhee had earlier denied a string of rape and assault charges but was found guilty of seven offences of rape and two further assault crimes.

His first victim was subjected to attacks at addresses in Prestonpans, Tranent and North Berwick, in East Lothian, and in a car at Cameron Toll in Edinburgh.

During the assaults, which occurred over a three year period from 2013 she was slapped, punched, throttled, butted, bitten, dragged by the hair and menaced with a knife and screwdriver.

The 21-year-old was also subjected to a rape attack by McGhee in 2015 when he grabbed her by the wrists and pinned her down. She said: "I remember not being able to move. I was saying 'no' and crying."

The second victim, a 26-year-old, twice went to hospital with a broken leg and fractured eye socket following violence from McGhee.

During assaults on the woman, committed over a two year period from 2016, at addresses in North Berwick, Musselburgh, Tranent and Prestonpans, in East Lothian, and in Edinburgh, he repeatedly kicked, punched, slapped, pushed and bit her.

He also forced his thumb into her eye, hit her with a pick axe handle and glass tumbler and put a screwdriver at her throat.

The woman described him as "jealous and controlling" and told how she was subjected to repeated rapes by McGhee.

One victim told how she was grabbed by the throat by him and said: "It went on for about a minute, but it felt like forever. It terrified me. It took my breath away."

McGhee, formerly of Prestonpans, had admitted being physically violent but denied using weapons on his victims and raping the women.

Defence counsel Kevin McCallum said that McGhee maintained his position. He added: "He regrets the actions he admitted to."

He said McGhee has never previously served a jail sentence and would take advantage of any courses made available to him while in custody.

McGhee was placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.