Man who raped and abused women made victims' lives 'utterly miserable'

Christopher James subjected his victims to 'sustained physical, emotional and sexual abuse'.

Christopher James physically attacked, sexually assaulted and raped two women SNS Group

A rapist who made his victims’ lives “utterly miserable” during a catalogue of abuse has been jailed for nine years.

Christopher James throttled women and put a pillow over the head of one victim and applied pressure during attacks.

The 39-year-old also raped both of his victims and sexually assaulted one of them with a foreign object.

A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh: “You subjected both women to sustained physical, emotional and sexual abuse.” 

Lord Richardson said that physical assaults perpetrated by James had posed a threat to the lives of his victims.

The judge said: “It was apparent to me from the evidence which I saw from both of these women, together with a careful consideration of the victim impact statements which both women have prepared, that for a prolonged period of time you must have made their lives traumatic and utterly miserable.”

Lord Richardson said that a background report prepared on James assessed him as posing “a very high risk” of similar offending in future.    

He said he took into account James’ own difficult background but added: “As you will surely recognise a lengthy period in custody is the only appropriate sentence I can pass to reflect your appalling conduct.”

The judge also ordered that the rapist should be supervised for a further four years and warned that if he failed to comply with licence conditions during that period he could be returned to prison.

James had denied a series of charges during an earlier trial but was convicted of assaulting one woman to the danger of her life, indecently assaulting her and raping her and assaulting the second victim to the danger of her life and raping her.

He also admitted behaving in a threatening and abusive way at a branch of Scotmid at Old Edinburgh Road, Uddingston, in South Lanarkshire, on July 11 2020 when he shouted, swore, kicked items in the store and made threats of violence.

James subjected one woman to repeated assaults at a flat in the Dennistoun area of Glasgow and at properties in Uddingston and Motherwell between 2007 and 2012.

During the attacks food was thrown at her, her hair was pulled, she was hit with a mobile phone and she was gripped by the throat, restricting her breathing. The woman was also subjected to sex attacks, including being sexually penetrated with a foreign object.

The second woman was also the victim of physical attacks by James committed between 2015 and 2020 at addresses in Uddingston and nearby Bellshill.

She also had her breathing restricted when her throat was squeezed. She was struck, kicked and bitten and had a vape pushed into her mouth and was raped.

Defence solicitor advocate Ali Murray said James had “an unenviable upbringing” and later developed alcohol issues. He said that on his release he intended to return to working as a landscape gardener.

He said: “It is accepted these convictions, in cumulo, will inevitably attract a significant custodial séntence.”

James, who followed today’s sentencing via a video link to Glasgow’s Barlinnie prison, was told he would be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

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