Man branded 'danger to society' after campaign of rape and harassment

Ian Ewart Ramsay carried out a slew of attacks on women across Scotland over a six-year period.

Ian Ewart Ramsay faces lengthy jail term after rape and harassment campaign against nine women SNS Group
Guilty: Ramsay was told he was a 'danger to society' at the High Court in Edinburgh.

A serial stalker and rapist who was branded “a danger to society” is facing a lengthy jail sentence after he was convicted of a catalogue of abusive offending against nine women.

Ian Ewart Ramsay obsessively pursued women during a six-year crime spree and used blackmail to get a woman to continue to have sex with him.

A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh: “You physically assaulted them and caused them fear and alarm by stalking them and most seriously you raped four of them.”

Lord Richardson told jurors who convicted Ramsay of 16 offences of stalking, assault and rape that they had to listen to evidence that was at times “distressing”.

Ramsay, 49, of Kelso in the Scottish Borders, had denied a string of charges during his trial. He originally faced a total of 47 charges, but the jury was only asked to return verdicts on 21 charges. He was acquitted of one rape, three assaults and a stalking allegation.

One woman who was raped by Ramsay in hotels said: “He is so manipulative. He is evil. He is a horrible, horrible person and is a danger to society.”

The 51-year-old manager met Ramsay, whom she knew as Ewart, through an online dating site and he told her he was a farmer and was previously in the Army.

She said: “We would meet in various restaurants and hotels in Glasgow and occasionally the Borders.”

But the woman said he became possessive and controlling. “It was non-stop harassment. A number of times I tried to break off with him but he would not have it,” she said.

“It was horrendous. It was the worst experience of my life,” the woman told the court.

She said that Ramsay stole her phone and took images from it to blackmail her with. She added: “It was terrible. I couldn’t get rid of him. At one stage I was even contemplating suicide it was that bad.” 

She said: “I would need to go along with him and meet up with him in various hotels and I just did not want to be there.”

Advocate depute Kath Harper asked her if she had wanted to have sex with him on these occasions and she replied: “No.”

She said: “I thought it was the only way I could manage the situation because he had these images.”

She said Ramsay had taken intimate images and videos of sex from her phone and threatened to send them to her boss, family and friends.

She said: “I was absolutely traumatised. It was horrendous.”. She said Ramsay was “unhinged” and added: “He just would not take ‘no’ for an answer.”

The woman said that during a confrontation at a spa hotel in Renfrewshire he headbutted her in the face, leaving her bleeding.

She said she made her way to the reception and added: “I was terrified. He was roaming the grounds looking for me.” Staff at the reception contacted police.

Ramsay was found guilty of raping the woman on various occasions between January 1 and December 31 in 2014. He was also convicted of stalking her by repeatedly calling and sending her messages, making threats to disclose intimate images of her and accessing her phone and downloading the images without her permission. He was also convicted of assaulting her by butting her.

Ramsay went on to rape a second woman at an address in Jedburgh while she was asleep or intoxicated on occasions between January 2016 and December the following year and bombarded her with calls and messages and threatened to distribute intimate images of her.

Another woman was raped by him at a house near Kelso while she was asleep or intoxicated between November 2016 and January 2017 on two occasions.

The fourth rape victim was subjected to sex attacks by him in Jedburgh in 2019. She was also physically assaulted and subjected to blackmail by him. Ramsay admitted he had images of the woman which he claimed they had taken together but denied using them to threaten her.

Ramsay continued to commit stalking offences against women into 2020 and even perpetrated the abuse when he was freed under court bail orders.

Ramsay, who was previously jailed for theft and assault, was placed of the sex offenders’ register and remanded in custody for the preparation of a background report.