Man who tightened noose around woman's neck before raping her jailed

John Todd carried out a string of sex attacks on three different women over a five-year period.

John Todd jailed over seven charges of rape involving three women in Perth, Fife and Angus Police ScotlandSTV News
Jailed: John Todd sentenced to nine and a half years imprisonment, reduced to five years and ten months.

A high-risk sex attacker who tightened a noose around a woman’s neck until she blacked out before raping her has been jailed.

John Todd’s victim came round in a barn in a Fife village to find she had been sexually assaulted.

The woman was one of three victims of a series of sex crimes perpetrated by Todd over a five-year period in Perth, Angus and Fife.

A judge told 34-year-old Todd: “You were found guilty of seven charges of rape involving three different complainers. Many of these offences involved acts of aggression and violence in order to rape these women.”

Lady Haldane said at the High Court in Edinburgh: “It was evident from the evidence of the complainers that your actions have caused considerable harm to all of them.”

She said a background report prepared on Todd made it clear that he took no responsibility for his crimes and continued to deny them.

The judge said: “Your behaviour in respect of each of these women demonstrated a clear pattern of controlling behaviour.”

She sentenced him to nine and a half years’ imprisonment but said that after taking into account lengthy periods spent on remand, he would serve five years and ten months from Friday.

The judge also ordered that he be kept under supervision for a further three years.

Todd, who had denied a series of offences during an earlier trial, was told he will be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

One woman told jurors at his trial that she had visited the barn with Todd and said: “There was a rope hanging from the middle beam.”

She said Todd had kissed her but added: “I can’t really remember anything after that. All I remember is waking up with the rope round my neck and my hands were tied.”

Todd was convicted of assaulting and raping her between July 2019 and March last year at the barn by putting a noose around her neck and tightening it, restricting her breathing and rendering her unconscious.

He was also found guilty of raping the woman at a hotel in Kirkcaldy, in Fife, on August 17 in 2019 when he threw her onto a bed and restrained her.

She said: “I begged him to get off and I said ‘no’. He said I was going to enjoy it. Every time I said ‘no’ he just kept doing it. I was screaming for him to get off.”

“I said he had raped me and I was going to go to the police. He begged me not to and he basically said he was going to get my brother ‘hit’.”

She told prosecutor David Dickson that she was left feeling scared by Todd’s claim.

Another woman told the court that she was subjected to a rape ordeal at New Year after he claimed he was following a tradition in his family.

She said she had met him through an internet dating site but came to realise that as well as drinking Todd also consumed drugs.

She agreed to stay at his flat in Perth at Hogmanay in 2016 and said that by the time of the bells he was “really hyper”. She stayed up until 1am but then went to bed.

She said Todd later came through and woke her up and asked her for sex. 

“I said no because I wanted to go to sleep. I was still saying no to him, then he forced himself on me,” she told the court.

The 31-year-old told police that on a further occasion in 2017 at her home in Angus, she awoke to find Todd raping her.

A third woman was attacked and raped by Todd in May 2016 at a flat in Perth.

Defence counsel Andrew Lamb QC said Todd had a difficult background and was in care at a young age. 

“He reports having post traumatic stress disorder and severe depression. He has accepted he used a variety of drugs to try to deal with that,” he said.

He said Todd has expressed a determination to cooperate with the authorities in offence-related work.

The court heard that Todd had been assessed as posing a high risk of committing further similar offences.