A man who threatened sexual violence against a female politician has been jailed for seven years after raping two women he met through dating websites.
Zachary Welsh subjected both women to sex ordeals at his home in Edinburgh in assaults committed three years apart.
Welsh, 24, grabbed one woman by the body and pushed her against a door as he subjected her to two sex attacks in 2015.
He struck again last year when he slapped a second victim and used a sex toy on her during further rapes committed between May and July.
Welsh was under a community payback order at the time of the second offence after threatening to mutilate Conservative MP Lucy Frazer QC in a phone call.
A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh: “The way in which you treated your victims was both disgraceful and callous and you must now face the reckoning.”
Lord Uist said there were two aggravating factors in that he was under a community payback order at the time of the second offence and that it involved a vulnerable adult.
The judge said: “You have continued to deny your guilt and failed to show any remorse.” He told Welsh that he would be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
Welsh, formerly of Royston Mains Gardens, had denied the rapes but was earlier convicted by a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh of carrying out the sex offences against the two women, both aged 22.
Welsh told the court: “I don’t hit women. I don’t rape women. I don’t attack women.”
His first victim, a former waitress, met Welsh on Tinder and initially thought “he was the perfect gentleman to me”. She added: “He treated me with respect.”
But she said his personality changed, stating: “He would get angry at me for little mistakes.”
She told his trial that Welsh switched to becoming “a horrible, awful person” who sexually abused her at his home and at an address in East Lothian.
Welsh’s second victim disclosed what had happened to her to a social worker who accompanied her to the police.
During his trial he claimed that it seemed to him that the two women had “got their stories down”. Advocate depute Peter Ferguson QC asked him if he was alleging that they were “in it together”. He replied: “I don’t know.”
Mr Ferguson revealed after the jury returned guilty verdicts that Welsh has one previous conviction for threatening and abusive behaviour which initially attracted a six month jail sentence at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, but the prison term was later quashed by appeal sheriffs and he was given the community payback order.
The advocate depute said the offence involved Welsh leaving a voicemail message for Tory MP Lucy Frazer, who represents South-east Cambridgeshire, at her constituency office in which he threatened to mutilate her private parts.
The politician apologised after comments she made in the Commons in 2015 about Scots being sent as slaves to the colonies.
Sheriff Donald Corke said, who jailed Welsh for the offence, told him: “Whether you like it or not, you are not the voice of the people of Scotland.”
“Particular difficulties are faced by women MPs who are often subjected to misogynistic, sick and perverted abuse. This is an attempt by those without their talent or sense of public duty to demean and control them and ultimately exclude them from public service,” said the sheriff.
“The threats and abuse you indulged in would clearly be intensely distressing to your target, her staff and her family, “ he told Welsh.
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