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Rapist put noose round woman’s neck and attacked her while unconscious

John Todd was found guilty of seven rapes against women over a five-year period at the High Court in Edinburgh.

A rapist who put a noose around a woman’s neck and attacked her when she was unconscious is facing a jail term after carrying out a series of sexual assaults on victims.

John Todd perpetrated a string of rape offences against women in Perth, Angus and Fife during a five-year crime spree.

A judge told the 34-year-old at the High Court in Edinburgh: “You have been convicted of a series of seven serious sexual offences against women.”

Lady Haldane said Todd’s offending involved “controlling, aggressive and violent behaviour” towards victims.

Todd, formerly of Pomarium Street, Perth, had denied a string of charges during a trial but was found guilty of seven rapes. He was acquitted of an eighth on a not proven record.

One woman told the court that she had visited a barn at a small village in Fife with Todd. She said: “There was a rope hanging from the middle beam.”

She said Todd kissed her but added: “I can’t really remember anything after that. All I remember is waking up with the rope round my neck and my hands were tied.”

Todd was convicted of assaulting and raping her between July 2019 and March last year at the village by putting a noose around her neck and tightening it, restricting her breathing and leaving her unconscious, before attacking her.

He was also found guilty of raping the woman at a hotel in Kirkcaldy on August 17 in 2019 when he threw her onto a bed and restrained her.

She said: “I begged him to get off and I said ‘no’. He said I was going to enjoy it.

“Every time I said ‘no’ he just kept on doing it. I was screaming for him to get off.”

“I said he had raped me and I was going to go to the police. He begged me not to and he basically said he was going to get my brother ‘hit’,” she said.

She told advocate depute David Dickson that she was left feeling scared by Todd’s claim.

Another woman told the court that she was subjected to a rape ordeal by Todd at New Year after he claimed he was continuing a family tradition.

She said she had met him through an internet dating site and came to realise that as well as drinking he took Valium and cannabis.

She agreed to stay at his Perth flat at Hogmanay in 2016 and said that by the time of the bells he was “really hyper”. She stayed up until 1am but then went to bed.

She said Todd later came through and woke her up and asked for sex. She told the court: “I said no because I wanted to go to sleep. He said it was my family tradition to have sex after the bells. I was still saying no to him, then he forced himself on me.”

The 31-year-old told police that on another occasion in 2017 at her home in Angus she went to sleep but woke to found Todd having sex with her.

She said: “I didn’t know at the time it wasn’t okay to have sex with someone when they were sleeping. I didn’t know it was a crime.”    

A third woman was attacked and raped by Todd in May 2016 at a flat in Perth when he pulled her to the floor and pulled down her lower clothing.

After the jury returned its verdicts, the court heard that although Todd has previous convictions he has never served a prison sentence before.

He was placed on the sex offenders’ register and remanded in custody for the preparation of a background report ahead of sentencing next month.

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