Jailed rapist James Gellately ‘tried to swallow razor’

Saughton Prison.  Picture Ian Rutherford
Saughton Prison. Picture Ian Rutherford

A SEX offender tried to swallow a razor after prison staff caught him slashing at his wrists with the blade.

James Gellately - who was jailed for ten years last year after he raped and assaulted four women – was in his cell at Edinburgh’s Saughton Prison when guards spotted him cutting himself.

Four prison officers burst into the cell in a bid to stop him slashing his wrists but instead of dropping the sharp blade Gellately attempted to swallow the implement.

Then after spitting the razor out on to the prison cell floor Gellately began struggling with the wardens resulting in one officer being injured after he fell down a flight of metal stairs.

Gellately, 29, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of breach of the peace when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.

Not guilty pleas to charges of pushing three prison staff members down a flight of stairs at HMP Edinburgh were accepted by the Crown.

Fiscal deputy Kirsty Lyons told the court the incident occured around 6pm on November 12 last year.

Ms Lyons said: “The officers saw the accused in bed with a razor blade in one hand and they ordered him to stop and place it on the worktop.

“The accused refused and then attempted to swallow the razor blade. He was ordered to drop the it on the floor but he refused.”

Four prison officers then put on full riot equipment before entering Gellatley’s cell where they managed to retrieve the blade and began marching him out of the cell.

Ms Lyons added: “As they got to the landing he became unruly and violent. This resulted in a witness [one of the prison officers] falling down the stairs.”

Defending solicitor Iain Tweedie told the court his client had been moved to HMP Dumfries following the bust up and will not be considered for release until March 2019.

Mr Tweedie said his client had served his country in the Army for six years and had undertaken four tours of duty.

Mr Tweedie added Gellately had been “self harming” and “was cutting his wrists” when the officers looked in on him.

He claimed the beast had been on edge after running out of medication for post traumatic stress disorder the previous day.

As a result of the incident Gellatley was placed in a segregation unit for 14 days.

Sheriff Gordon Liddle sentenced Gellately to a concurrent six month prison sentence after acknowledging it would be “somewhat futile” to extend the jail term beyond his current release date.

Gellately was caged for ten years following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh last year.

Gellately’s crimes took place from 2006 to 2013 in Dumfriesshire, East Kilbride and Kilmarnock.

He had denied the charges against him but was found guilty of four rape charges, an indecent assault and three assaults.

The court heard that Gellately attacked his first victim in 2006 and 2007 at houses in Dumfries, Ecclefechan, Annan and Eastriggs.

During the ordeal, the woman had her head forced into a bath of water and her face was held under the surface, grabbed by the throat and repeatedly punched and bitten on the body.

She also had jewellery removed from her body with pliers, had her hair cut off and was also blindfolded and sexually assaulted.

He raped his second victim in 2009 at a house in East Kilbride, while his third victim was raped at a house in Kilmarnock, in Ayrshire.

A fourth woman was raped by Gellately at a roadside south of Sanquhar, in Dumfriesshire, in August 2013.

Gellately, who was also placed on the sex offenders register, repeatedly raped the same woman at a house in Kilmarnock later that month.