Rapist labelled a ‘danger to women’ jailed for string of sexual attacks

Michael Gray was jailed at Glasgow High Court. Picture: John Devlin
Michael Gray was jailed at Glasgow High Court. Picture: John Devlin

A rapist who preyed on seven women during a campaign of sexual violence and domestic abuse spanning nearly three decades has been handed a life sentence.

Michael Gray, branded a “danger to women”, was described as an “opportunist” who sexually assaulted his victims while they slept and used them as punchbags when they were awake.

The 50-year-old carried out attacks on one former partner subjecting her to degrading sexual assaults using a pool cue and an Irn Bru bottle.

Gray forced two of the women he met to engage in a threesome with him and compelled both of them to have sex with other men while he watched.

His “trademark” form of violence was putting his victims’ lives at risk by compressing their throats with his hands or, on one occasion, with the belt from a bathrobe, the jury heard.

Gray, of Adamson Road, Lochgelly, had denied charges including rape, indecent assaults, assaults to danger of life and a knife attack. But jurors at the High Court in Livingston, unanimously convicted Gray, who also goes by the surname Banks, guilty of 18 charges including nine rapes of four women.

The jury took just two hours to convict the unemployed former fish farm worker of committing the offences at addresses across Fife between January 1987 and January 2016.

On Thursday at the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lord Mulholland handed Gray an order for lifelong restriction and ordered him to serve a minimum of seven years behind bars.

He previously branded Gray a “danger to women”.

The judge said: “The jury unanimously rejected your evidence of denial and believed the women.”

He said Gray “treated the women appallingly” and said “they are to commended for reporting your crimes to law enforcement”.

The judge added: “You will now be sentenced for these crimes. These courts regard domestic abuse, physical and sexual violence and rape very seriously.”

A cry of “yes” was shouted from the public gallery as Gray was led away.

Gray maintains his innocence.

Detective Chief Inspector Debra Forrester from the Domestic Abuse Task Force said: “The courage of the victims who spoke out against him should be commended.

“I hope it encourages others who are suffering domestic abuse to have confidence that they will be taken seriously, by both the police and our partners, if they come forward.”