Man used threats and violence against women to obtain thousands of pounds for lavish lifestyle

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A 37-year-old man has been convicted of serious sexual and violent offences against a number of women in a string of laces across Scotland, including Edinburgh and West Lothian.

Christopher Harkins pled guilty to financial abuse offences earlier this year and has now been found guilty of violent and sexual offences, including rape, by a jury at the High Court in Paisley on Monday, May 20. He will be sentenced on Wednesday, July 3, 2024.  

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Christopher Harkins will be sentenced in July.Christopher Harkins will be sentenced in July.
Christopher Harkins will be sentenced in July. | Police

Harkins’ offences, which took place between 2013 and 2019, involved women in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Inverclyde, Edinburgh, Stirling, Paisley and West Lothian.

A proactive investigation into Harkins began in October 2019 by Police Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Task Force.

Detective Inspector Iain Renfrew, of Police Scotland, said: “Christopher Harkins is a violent and contemptible individual who preyed on woman looking for love and companionship. He made them believe they were in a loving and exclusive relationship but that was nowhere near the truth.

“His only motive was money. Harkins met the women through a dating app and once he had formed relationships with them he turned to manipulation, threats, coercive control and violence to obtain thousands of pounds which he used to fund his very lavish lifestyle.

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“The fact that he had been convicted is a tremendous credit to the women who came forward to police. Their testimony is why he has been convicted today.

“This case highlights that domestic abuse is not just physical or sexual, it includes abusive behaviours or financial abuse. It is often about power and control and can have life changing consequences for victims.

"We sincerely hope that today’s conviction gives confidence to others who may experience anything similar to come forward, safe in the knowledge that police will investigate.”