Fife serial rapist is jailed for ten years
A vile Fife rapist described by one of his victims as “a complete monster” has been jailed for ten years.
Neil Ireland (39), from Methil, was convicted of offences of rape and sexual assault last month and was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh today.
He raped one woman while she was in bed with her baby daughter.
The offences took place in Cupar, Methil and Leven between January 2008 and December 2015.
Neil Ireland is the father of two children conceived through rapes, the High Court in Dunfermline heard during his trial.
He also raped the same woman twice when her child was in the bed beside her and on one of these occasions she was eight months pregnant.
He claimed in court another victim had a fantasy of being raped and he only took part in this “reluctantly”.
The judge Lord Uist told him, “You were a predator who befriended and exploited vulnerable women by taking advantage of them sexually, not caring whether they consented to what you did to them.”
Lord Uist said, “Moreover, it was clear to me you considered you were entitled to act as you did and you have shown no remorse or regret.”
The judge said a background report prepared on Ireland revealed that he used denial, minimisation and blame and portrayed himself as the victim.
Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson said Ireland was a first offender who had demonstrated in the past that he had “an excellent work ethic”.
Ireland will be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
Ireland found guilty of a series of rapes and sexual offences against four women over a period of almost eight years.
During a two-week trial, the victims were forced to re-live their ordeals at the hand of Ireland, of Taylor Street, Methil, but latterly living with his mother at Alves Drive, Glenrothes.
It emerged Ireland preyed on vulnerable women when they were going difficult times.
One woman said she had a drink and drugs problem after coming out of a violent relationship. Ireland was someone she knew from her local pub and he began taking alcohol to her home and giving her money to buy drugs.
She said she had regarded Ireland as a friend but repeatedly told him she did not want to have a physical relationship with him.
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.”
However, in his evidence Ireland claimed this woman wanted to be raped.
His solicitor asked him, “Did you on any occasion rape her?”
“Only by her wanting it. That was a fantasy of hers,” answered Ireland.
He threatened another victim that if she did not have sex with him he would tell police she had breached her bail conditions and she would end up in jail.
Ireland, a forklift driver and former cabbie in St Andrews, was found guilty of a string of offences.
On 30th January 2008 in Cupar, he indecently assaulted a woman.
On various occasions between 1st January and 30th June 2008 at another address in Cupar he sexually assaulted a second woman including two rapes. On one of the occasions the woman was under the influence of drugs and incapable of giving consent.
Between 11th April and 1st May 2013, he raped his third victim on three occasions at an address in Cupar.
Then between 2nd July 2013 and 22nd December 2015 he raped the same woman on three further occasions at three addresses in Methil and Leven.
On two of these occasions the woman was pregnant and on two occasions her baby daughter was in bed beside her.
On various occasions between September and December 2015 he sexually assaulted a fourth woman by touching her breasts and buttocks.
On an occasion in December 2015 he sexually assaulted the same woman by entering her bedroom, getting on her bed and trying to pull down her trousers.