Fife man on trial for rape and sexual assault allegations

 

A Fife man, facing a series of rape and sexual assault allegations against five women, has been branded “a complete monster”.

Neil Ireland went on trial at the High Court in Dunfermline today accused of sex offences committed in various parts of Fife between 2008 and last year.

It is alleged that Ireland (39), of Methil, sexually assaulted five women, including ten offences of rape.

He is accused of raping a woman on two occasions when she had her baby in the bed with her.

The first witness told the court she was raped by Ireland on three occasions, fell pregnant with his child and gave birth to a daughter who was taken straight into care from birth.

The woman admitted her recollection of the period of the alleged offences in 2008 could be “blurry” because she was drinking heavily and also taking drugs including heroin. She said she was regularly “absolutely smashed”.

She said she had regarded Ireland as a friend but repeatedly told him she did not want to have a physical relationship.

The woman told the court that she had passed out on her sofa after a drinking session and woke up to find Ireland raping her.

She said, “I thought he was my friend, he turned out to be a complete monster.” She also described Ireland as “a disgusting person.”

The woman became upset several times during her evidence. She said she had not reported the incidents as she “had no trust in the police”. This was as a result of her being sexually assaulted as a child, then again when she 17 and nobody being brought to justice, she added.

She gave statements to the police in 2016 after they contacted her.

Defence solicitor Iain Paterson put it to the witness, “You’ve made up this about Mr Ireland for whatever reason haven’t you?”

She answered, “I have not lied once.”

Ireland denies the following ten charges.

On 30th January 2008 at an address in Cupar he indecently assaulted a woman.

On various occasions between 1st January and 30th June at a different address in Cupar he assaulted another woman and raped her on three occasions.

On an occasion between 11th January and 31st January 2012 in Tayport he sexually assaulted a third woman, who was pregnant, while she was asleep.

On various occasions between 11th April and 1st May 2013 in Cupar he assaulted a fourth woman and raped her three times.

On various occasions between the same dates he assaulted the same woman, detained her in a flat against her will, punched and slapped her face, back and legs, seized hold of her arms, seized hold of her neck, pinning her against a wall, all to her injury.

On various occasions between 2nd July and 22nd December 2015 at addresses in Methil, Leven and Dysart, he assaulted the same woman and raped her on three occasions.

It is alleged that the woman was in bed with her baby daughter on two of these occasions.

It is further alleged that Ireland sexually assaulted a fifth woman in Methil on various occasions between 1st April and 31st December 2015.

On an occasion between 1st November and 30th November 2015 at his home in Methil he raped the same woman while she was asleep.

On 5th December 2015 at his home he sexually assaulted the same woman.

The final charge is that on 16th August last year he assaulted a woman in Methil by slapping her on the buttocks and face.

The trial before Lord Uist continues.

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