A rapist who went AWOL before the end of his rape trial has been jailed for a total of eight years at the High Court in Inverness.
Judge Pasportnikov added a year on to her seven year sentence imposed after 41 year old David McCue was convicted in March this year of two rapes and two sexual assaults.
He absconded before the jury returned its guilty verdicts at Glasgow High Court and the trial continued in his absence.
McCue of Springboig, Glasgow was on the run for two months before being arrested.
Defence counsel Sarah Livingstone told the court that her client “had a mental health meltdown” and part of the time, he camped in a forest to avoid detection.
Prior to that, Ms Livingstone said, he sofa surfed for two weeks.
The advocate added: “He was intending to come but everything came crashing down. A juror had been excused due to her conduct – shaking her head and he formed the view that matters were not going for him.
“He was overhwelmed and scared of going to prison. He also had suicidal thoughts, went drinking that day and didn’t stop. He was at rock bottom.”
The 40-year-old had been found guilty of repeated attacks on a woman in the city’s Townhead and Barlanark including while she was asleep.
He was further convicted of sexually assaulting a girl.
The charges spanned between 2010 and 2018.
On the sex offences, Ms Livingstone said her client still protested his innocence.
“There can be no mitigating factors to these offences. But there is an absence of anything analogous and there was no evidence in the trial that this was premeditated,” she said.
Sentencing him to seven years for the sex offences and an extra year for contempt of court by failing to appear, the Judge told him: “Your actions were despicable. You robbed a child of her innocence and left a woman thinking she was responsible.
“Both of your victims will hopefully regain some of their lives. Crimes such as yours must attract a custodial sentence.
“Turning to the question of your absconding, you remained at large for two months, acting in wilful defiance of the court’s authority.”
McCue was also placed on the sex offender list indefinitely.