A man who threatened to sexually mutilate a female Conservative MP has been jailed after raping two women.
Zachary Welsh subjected both his victims to sex ordeals at his home in Royston Mains Gardens, 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 rape attacks in 2015.
He struck again when he slapped a second victim during further rapes committed between May and July last year.
Welsh had denied the offences but was convicted by a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh of carrying out the rapes of the two women, aged 22, whom he met through dating websites.
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, adding: “He would get angry at me for little mistakes.” She said that soon afterwards Welsh started sexually abusing her.
She told his trial that Welsh switched to becoming “a horrible, awful person”.
Welsh’s second victim disclosed what had happened to her to a social worker who accompanied her to the police.
Welsh 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.”
The trial judge, Lord Uist, told Welsh: “You have been convicted by the jury of two charges of rape against different women.
“You should be in no doubt, in due course, these convictions will attract a lengthy sentence of imprisonment.”
The judge called for a background report on Welsh including a risk assessment ahead of sentencing and remanded him in custody.
Mr Ferguson revealed after the verdicts that Welsh has one previous conviction for a breach of the peace 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 a community payback order.
The advocate depute said the offence involved Welsh leaving a message for Tory MP Lucy Frazer, who represents South-east Cambridgeshire, in which he threatened to mutilate part of her body.
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: “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.”
“The threats and abuse you indulged in would clearly be intensely distressing to your target, her staff and her family, “ the sheriff told Welsh.
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