Rapist attacked women while they slept

The man was sentenced at the High Court in Livingston
The man was sentenced at the High Court in Livingston

A man who followed a “pattern” of abuse by raping and sexually assaulting two women while they were asleep has been jailed for six years.

Scott Paxton, 45, was told he would remain under social work supervision and subject to recall for three years after he served the punishment part of his sentence.

Passing sentence at the High Court in Livingston on Friday, Judge Lord Burns told Paxton his name would also remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.

He told Paxton: “You were convicted of the most serious charge of rape in charge four on a single occasion, and many years later convicted of a sexual assault by penetration and further sexual assault.

“This seems to have been part of a domestic campaign that you proceeded to assault women sexually.

“I understand you have been convicted of breach of the peace against a third female.

“There is a pattern to this and the social worker has, I think, justifiably assessed you as being at high likelihood of sexual reoffending against females.

“I too consider that an extended sentence is required here and I will impose such a sentence on charge four.”

The judge added: “There has been no extreme violence in these offences, but these offences contain an element of violence both physical and mental against the victim.

“It is not for me to calculate what sort of long-term harm towards these two woman this has had.”

Paxton, 45, of Harthill, North Lanarkshire, had denied committing a total of 25 offences of physical and sexual abuse against the two women over a decade.

A jury returned majority verdicts after trial convicting him of committing four sexual offences against the two women, who can’t be named for legal reasons.

He was found guilty of raping one of the females while she was asleep and incapable of giving or withholding consent at an address in Blackridge, West Lothian, in 2009.

He was also found guilty of indecently assaulting the same woman on various occasions the same year.

The jury deleted a rape allegation involving a second woman but found Paxton guilty of sexually penetrating her with his fingers on various occasions while she was asleep at an address in Harthill, North Lanarkshire, between October 2015 and February 2016.

They also convicted him of sexually assaulting his second victim in an almost identical allegation to the first victim.

The jury found Paxton not guilty of two further counts of repeatedly subjecting the first woman to indecent and sexual assaults the following year (2010) and returned ‘not proven’ verdicts on charges of rape and sexual assault involving the second female.

The prosecution withdrew the remaining 15 charges at the close of the Crown case.

The rape victim gave evidence that Paxton would regularly wait until she was sleeping before trying to have sex with her.

She told the jury: “I woke up with him doing things because I could feel him touching me.

“I said to him a few times that he could at least say to me when I’m awake so that I could agree to it rather than wait until I was sleeping and help himself.

“A lot of the time I just left him to it because if I tried to stop it there’d just be an argument and things got really nasty and tense.

“Just to avoid that I went along with it. I think he got some kind of kick out of it for whatever weird reason.”

Ronnie Renucci, defence counsel, told the court that despite the four guilty verdicts Paxton still maintained he was innocent.

He said: “The accused finds himself in Catch 22 situation. He continues to deny his involvement but accepts that he’s been found guilty by the jury.

“That brings about the problem whereby the social worker – where Mr Paxton or anybody in that situation does not accept their guilt – says he continues to minimise his involvement.

“The inevitable conclusion is that he’s found to be at ‘high risk’ of reconviction, and the writer of report has assessed Mr Paxton as being at a ‘high risk’ of re-offending.”

He asked the judge to take into account that none of the charges involved “extreme violence”.

He highlighted the fact that the sexual assault charges were so similar in their nature that they “almost mirror themselves”.

However, he added: “These were not cases where there was severe physical injury, although it’s recognised there may have been psychological harm.”

Lord Burns backdated the prison sentence to 21 July when Paxton was remanded in custody.