Former Prime Minister aide convicted of raping 19-year-old student in Edinburgh

A FORMER aide to two Prime Ministers has been jailed after being convicted of rape for the second time within a month.

Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 4:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 5:56 pm

Mark Adams, 56, was found guilty on Tuesday of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old student in Regent Road, Edinburgh, in the early hours of August 10 2017.

The High Court in the city heard how Adams abused the teenager on the floor of his camper van. His victim had told a jury how the former civil servant had preyed on her as she returned home from a night out at the Edinburgh Fringe.

She told the court of how she had fallen asleep only to wake up and find the divorced father of four having sex with her.

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Mark Adams. Pic: BBC

Adams, of Fareham, Hampshire, claimed he had consensual sex with the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

But after spending two hours in deliberations, jurors returned a guilty verdict to one charge of rape.

After hearing how Adams had been convicted on the same charge at Woolwich Crown Court in January 2019, judge Lord Armstrong deferred sentence to obtain reports on his character.

He also remanded the businessman in custody.

Lord Armstrong was also told Adams had been convicted of sexual assault in a Welsh court last year.

The judge told Adams: “You must know by now that rape is a grave crime against which all women should be protected.

“It is inevitable that a sentence of imprisonment will follow but before I can pass sentence on you I must be fully informed about your circumstances.

“I will call for a criminal justice social work report.”

The verdict came on the fourth day of proceedings against Adams who served as private secretary to both John Major and Tony Blair during the 1990s.

He was made an OBE in 1997 and is a graduate of Cambridge University.

After leaving the Civil Service, Adams set up a public affairs agency called Foresight Consulting in 2001. His company acted for clients including the Police Federation.

In recent years Adams acted as a lobbyist and held high profile roles including chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and of the Professional Lobbying Company.

He also advised the Apprentice winner Michelle Dewberry as she attempted to become an MP.

In January 2019, Adams was convicted of raping a 24-year-old woman on a sofa bed at his former London home the morning after the 2015 general election.

The woman had no space to sleep and was invited to watch TV with Adams on a sofa bed. Adams, who had been drinking whisky, raped her.

He was also convicted at Swansea Crown Court in October 2018 of sexually assaulting a barmaid in Tenby, Wales.

The Welsh court was told that Adams was on holiday with his elderly mother when he asked a barmaid for a selfie. As he took the photo he put his hand on her bottom and offered her £300 to spend the night with him, saying: “That’s a lot of money to you isn’t it?” The barmaid told Adams that she had a boyfriend and he increased his offer to £400.

Adams was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years.

In the latest case, the court heard harrowing testimony from the girl, who lives in the east end of Edinburgh.

She told jurors of how she had spent the evening of August 9 enjoying a Fringe show with a male friend.

She said she decided to walk home after leaving a nightclub in Edinburgh at around 5.15am feeling quite drunk.

The woman said she stopped in Regent Road to get some rest.

The court heard that Adams then approached her and helped her into his camper van.

She added: “He bent down and picked me up and took me towards his vehicle. I was quite drunk. I was struggling to get into the van. He got in behind me. There was a mattress there and I almost immediately fell asleep.”

She said that she woke up shortly afterward to discover Mr Adams sucking on her right nipple - she said her jeans and underwear were lying around her ankles.

Adams then raped her.

She added: “I was just shocked and really traumatised.”

The court heard that Adams then drove her a short distance. She then got out of the van and ran away.

Taxi driver James Campbell,50, saw the girl running. He said the teenager was very upset, was crying and looked as if she needed help. He drove towards her and asked what had happened.

Mr Campbell told prosecution lawyer Dorothy Bain QC: “I have never seen anybody run as fast as that. She was distraught. She was totally broken.

“It was a horrible thing to see - I can’t see anything more than that.

“Her hair was very dishevelled. I’ve got a daughter the same age as that. I know how much time they spend doing their hair and make up to look glamourous.

“But she looked as though she had been dragged through a hedge backwards.”

The court heard that police managed to establish Adams was the man who raped the girl. He had been in Edinburgh enjoying the Fringe festival.

Giving evidence, Adams claimed that he had “consensual” sex with the girl who “instigated the encounter.”

He said they had sex just a few moments after meeting each other. He said she suggested that they should have “some fun” with each other.

He added: “I found myself in a surprising situation. There was some kind of sexual interaction. I felt her hand taking mine and I was taking hers.

“We started kissing as we were sitting on the edge of the bed. I would very much describe it as she was kissing me - she initiated the kissing and I was responding.

“She was making noises which I took to be noises of appreciation. It was a fairly quick encounter.”

However, jurors rejected Adams claims.

Defence lawyer Gary Allan QC urged Lord Armstrong to obtain reports. Lord Armstrong agreed.

Following the verdict, Lord Armstrong thanked jurors for their service.

Adams will be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on March 26 2019.

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