Man who stalked woman before raping her at her home jailed

Christopher Mawhinney harassed his victim and threw stones at windows at her home before the attack.

Christopher Mawhinney stalked woman before raping her in Dumfries and Galloway iStock

A sex attacker who stalked a woman before turning up at her home and subjecting her to a rape ordeal has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Christopher Mawhinney, 25, harassed his victim with phone calls and threw stones at windows at her home in Dumfries and Galloway before sexually assaulting her.

Lord Braid told Mawhinney at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday: “There is no alternative to a custodial sentence.

“You were convicted by the jury of raping and sexually assaulting the complainer.”

Mawhinney, formerly of Kennels Cottage, Mossdale, Castle Douglas, turned up at the address in the early hours of December 27 in 2019 and persisted in his advances on the woman.

He then sexually assaulted his victim. 

Lord Braid said that he had been assessed in a background report prepared on him as posing a medium risk of sexual offending.

The judge said: “It is said your intention in going to the house that night was to engage in sexual activity.”

Lord Braid said that he took into account Mawhinney’s relatively young age at the time of the offence, which was committed when he was 23.

Mawhinney, who has a previous conviction for assault, had denied raping the woman at his earlier trial and the court heard that he continued to maintain his denial of the offence.

He was also convicted of a stalking offence between December 25 and 27 in 2019 by engaging in conduct that caused fear and alarm to the victim by repeatedly phoning her, attending at her address, throwing stones at windows and repeatedly demanding entry.

Defence counsel Niall McCluskey said: “He clearly maintains his position that he put forward at trial.”

He said Mawhinney had “a good work ethic” and a pro-social peer group who appeared to be supportive of him.

The defence counsel said: “The long and the short of it is that he accepts there will be a custodial sentence.”

Lord Braid told Mawhinney that following his sentencing he would be on the sex offenders’ register for an indeterminate period.

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