Drug dealer raped three women and sexually assaulted man

The registered sex offender raped a teenage girl in his car after giving her wine.

Drug dealer raped three women and sexually assaulted man STV News

A rapist who used drink and drugs to prey on vulnerable victims during a catalogue of sex crimes has been jailed for 12 years.

Drug dealer John Tunnicliffe raped three women and sexually assaulted a man during a string of attacks in the Borders.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that the 56-year-old targeted vulnerable people that he came into contact with through his activities as a drug trafficker.

Tunnicliffe, formerly of Hawthorn Road, Galashiels, had earlier denied a string of charges at a trial but was found guilty of four offences of rape and a further four of sexual assault.

Judge Fiona Tait ordered that in addition to the 12-year prison term he should be kept under supervision for a further four years.

The registered sex offender first struck during an incident between August 1993 and July 1994 when he picked up a teenage girl and offered her drink.

He got her wine and drove her in a car to a remote spot before raping her.

More than two decades later Tunnicliffe assaulted and raped her again after the sex crime victim developed a drug problem.

He went on to repeatedly commit sex attacks against her in 2017 and 2018.

The woman said: “He was the one with the drugs and he was the one offering the drugs and I was a drug addict.”

She said that on some occasions when she met him she was “desperate for a fix”.

Another woman, aged 38, said she was repeatedly groped by the dealer.

She was also raped by him after he gave her powder at a house in Galashiels which left her feeling sleepy.

She also witnessed him sexually molest a man.

A 25-year-old woman said she was subjected to sex attacks and a rape by Tunnicliffe, who she regularly sourced heroin from, in 2016 and 2017..

During the rape he took her to a flat in Galashiels High Street in 2017 and grabbed her wrist, dragged her upstairs and pushed her onto a bed.

The woman said she tried to resist. She said her attacker could see that she was upset, but ignored it.

Advocate depute Steven Borthwick said: “He took what he wanted regardless of the wishes of these women.”

The prosecutor said Tunnicliffe targeted vulnerable people he came into contact with through his activities as a drug dealer.

He said: “Each of the complainers had their own struggles with substance abuse.”

Tunnicliffe, who was jailed for four and a half years in 2007, was placed on the sex offenders’ register.