A man who repeatedly raped a woman after being released from prison for another sex attack has been sent back to jail for nine years.
Alan Hardie carried out a series of sexual assaults on his most recent victim at addresses in the Scottish Borders after completing a jail term for raping another woman.
A judge at the High Court in Edinburgh told the 53-year-old: “As a consequence of your dreadful conduct, the complainer has had to take medication for anxiety and depression.”
Lord Beckett ordered that Hardie should be subject to a further three years supervision under an extended sentence which the judge said was necessary to protect the public.
During an earlier trial Hardie, of Annan Road, Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, denied a series of sex charges, but was found guilty of two offences of rape which occurred between 1997 and 2015.
The sex attacks were committed at houses in Melrose and Kelso.
During the trial, the victim, a now 46-year-old woman, denied that the sexual intercourse that had taken was with her consent, when questioned by defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC.
Mr McConnachie told the court today that Hardie continued to maintain that he was innocent of the rape charges.
The defence counsel said: “It does appear there is a fairly large support network of people who are standing by him despite the conviction.”
He said Hardie was assessed in a background report as posing a medium risk of further general offending and sexual offending.
Hardie, who formerly worked at a recycling site, told his trial that he was previously charged with rape which had resulted in a four year prison sentence beginning in January 1994.
He said that during that sentence he took steps to address alcohol problems and had anger management courses.
Lord Beckett told him he would be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.