Former steroid using personal trainer jailed for raping two women in Midlothian

A former steroid using personal trainer has been jailed for nine years after subjecting two women to rape ordeals.

James Austin, 33, targeted the victims for sex crimes at addresses in Midlothian and also physically abused them.

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Austin, formerly of Polton Street, Bonnyrigg, had denied raping the women and claimed he was “devastated” when he learnt they had made allegations against him.

A general view of the High Court in Edinburgh.A general view of the High Court in Edinburgh.
A general view of the High Court in Edinburgh.
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But a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh earlier convicted him of raping one woman on various occasions between November 2015 and April 2016 and also sexually assaulting her with a sex toy and refusing to stop.

He went on to rape the second woman between March and June in 2017 on various occasions.

A judge told Austin that there was no alternative to a prison sentence following his conviction for a total of nine offences including rape, sexual assault, assault, abduction and threatening and abusive behaviour.

Lord Kinclaven also ordered that he should be under supervision for a further two-year period.

Defence counsel Ronnie Renucci QC said that although Austin continued to deny the serious offences he appreciated that a custodial sentence was inevitable.

He said that Austin had been using steroids for about 10 years but had stopped taking them since late last year.

Mr Renucci said: “He now does recognise that there was obviously a link between his steroid use and his anger management problem.”

He said Austin considered himself to be a much less angry person than he was in the past.

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One victim of Austin told the court that she believed he was trying to condition her. She said: “He’d try to make me feel guilty.”

She said he tried to force her into doing things that she hated. “He wanted me to have a threesome,” she told the court.

“He wanted to go into a bar and pick a girl that he liked. He wanted it for a birthday present. He kept talking to me about it. I felt sick,” she said.

One woman was pushed, struck on the head, grabbed by the hair, seized by the neck and had a knife held to her throat by Austin.

The second victim was pulled from a bed, dragged along the floor, grabbed by the neck and struck on the head.

Austin threw glasses, crockery and knives, hurled phones and pulled a door from its hinges and threw it across a room.

One woman who went to a victim’s home said she answered the door in tears. She said: “She was very distressed and relieved to see us. I think she must have expected him back.”

The woman said she noticed a dent in a wall in the living room and the victim showed her a bruise that was about four inches long.

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Austin, who moved to Doncaster, in England, before his earlier trial said he had secured work as a personal trainer. He maintained that there was no sexual contact that was not consensual with the women.

He was put on the sex offenders’ register.

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