Rapist jailed for catalogue of abuse over three decades

Edwin Cuschieri preyed on four victims in Orkney between 1988 and 2016.

Rapist jailed for catalogue of abuse over three decades Police ScotlandCOPFS

A sex predator who raped a woman and girl during a catalogue of abuse has been jailed for ten years.

Edwin Cuschieri, 67, attacked four victims at different places in Orkney during offending that spanned 28 years.

A judge told the sex offender that abuse and repeated rapes that he inflicted on one woman who fell victim to him were “very serious”.

Lady Scott said at the High Court in Edinburgh that Cuschieri appeared to think he was “entitled” to abuse women.

The judge told Cuschieri, who continues to deny the crimes: “You have a complete lack of insight into your behaviour.”

On Thursday, Lady Scott said in sentencing him that she took into account his age and noted that he was recently married and that his new wife supported him.

Cuschieri had earlier denied a string of charges during a trial but was unanimously found guilty of six offences by a jury – three of rape, two of sexual assault and one of indecent behaviour to an underage child.

His youngest victim was aged eight or nine when he raped her at a house on one of the islands in Orkney between 1997 and 2001. She told the court that she was the victim of a sexual assault which haunted her for years.

But his offending began in Stromness in 1988 when he subjected an adult woman to repeated assaults, rapes and verbal abuse.

His sex crimes continued up until 2016 in Kirkwall when he molested a woman and subjected a second victim to a sexual assault during which he repeatedly told her he wanted to have sexual activity with her. 

One of Cuschieri’s victims first contacted police years before he was brought to trial earlier this year to make allegations against him.

The woman, who was a child victim, gave a statement to officers in 2009 reporting his crimes against her.

Cuschieri was interviewed by police and released without charge and no further action was taken at the time, but he went on to commit further crimes.

The former diver was told that he would be placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely following his sentencing,

Cuschieri, a hotel receptionist, of Helliar View, Shapinsay, Orkney, followed the proceedings via a video link to prison.

Defence solicitor advocate John Keenan said: “It is recognised these are extremely serious offences.”

He said that Cuschieri realised he faced a significant jail sentence despite his continued denials of guilt.

“Standing his age and health obviously that is something he faces with a great deal of trepidation,” said Mr Keenan.

He told the court that some of Cuschieri’s offending was “impulsive” and added: “Certainly at times alcohol seems to have played a part.” 

He said Cuschieri’s wife remained supportive of him and his intention, when released, was to move to England with her.

Detective chief inspector Donald Macdonald, of the Public Protection Unit, said: “Cuschieri is a serial domestic abuser whose offending behaviour spans 28 years and will no doubt have left his victims deeply affected for the rest of their lives. Cuschieri must now face the consequences for his horrific behaviour.

“I would like to thank the victims for having the strength to come forward and report the abuse they endured, and for the courage they have shown throughout the investigation. The bravery to tell their story has resulted in Cuschieri being convicted.

“I hope today’s outcome gives them some sort of closure and sends a clear message that sexual abuse will not be tolerated and offenders will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

“Police Scotland is committed to tackling sexual abuse and no one should ever feel they are alone or in a position of fear. We have specially trained officers who are there to target abusers and support victims.

“I would encourage anyone to report sexual abuse in any form, as all reports will be thoroughly investigated. We will continue to work with partner agencies to ensure victims of abuse are supported and to ensure their safety and wellbeing.”

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