It is one of the first occasions that these types of sexual assaults have been included in a prosecution under a section of the domestic abuse legislation which came into force three years ago.
David Findlay, 32, from Edinburgh, sexually attacked a former partner and subjected her to serious physical and psychological harm. He was also found guilty of abusing another woman, terrifying her with threats and attacking her.
The window cleaner was one of the first to be convicted of abusive behaviour which included significant sexual offending, under Section 1 of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018.
The Act - which came into force in April 2019 - recognises an abusive course of behaviour. The abuse could be physical, verbal, psychological, sexual or financial.
A jury heard that Findlay’s abuse began with insults and intimidation before progressing to physical violence.
One woman told how her ordeal started soon after she met Findlay through a dating app. Both victims reported being strangled by the accused.
At the High Court in Edinburgh today (21 Oct), he was sentenced to five years imprisonment, plus given a three-year extended sentence, during which he will be closely supervised.
His name was added to the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and he is subject to 15-year Non Harassment Orders covering both victims.
Commenting on sentence, Scotland’s Procurator Fiscal for High Court Sexual Offences, Fraser Gibson, said:
“I commend the two women involved in this case for the courage they have shown in reporting the appalling crimes of David Findlay.
“The assaults on one woman – including serious sexual attacks – were captured within new legislation, which has given prosecutors another tool in seeking justice.
“The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 was enacted to better reflect the reality of domestic abuse – recognising a course of behaviour which is abusive of a partner, or ex-partner.
“The abuse can be physical, verbal, psychological, sexual or financial.
“Where there is sufficient evidence of repeated abusive behaviour, as defined in the legislation, and where there is a connection between the behaviours, this can now be recognised as part of an overall corroborated course of conduct. This may include instances of serious sexual offending.
“The prosecutors at COPFS are committed to the rigorous pursuit of justice for victims of sexual and domestic abuse and will use every tool available to us, including the full extent of the provisions of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, as this case demonstrates.
“This should provide confidence to victims – and members of the public in general – that COPFS recognises the many forms of abusive conduct which may have been endured over a period of time and behind closed doors.”