Glasgow & West Scotland

Thomas Laird convicted of raping three women

A man is facing a lengthy prison term after being convicted of raping three women and threatening to rape a fourth.

Thomas Laird, 38, carried out the abuse at addresses in Glasgow, Dunbartonshire and Lanarkshire over an 18-year period.

He was caught after one of his victims contacted Scottish Police's domestic abuse taskforce.

At the High Court in Glasgow, judge Michael O'Grady QC deferred sentence on Laird, who he described as "clever, manipulative and exploitative".

'Risk to women'

The judge told Laird: "You have been convicted of an appalling course of violence and sexual abuse against a number of women.

"You represent a risk to women of all ages. You are completely indifferent to the trail of unhappiness you have left in your wake."

The court heard how Laird, who was a supermarket team leader, threatened to rape one terrified victim and told her: "I'll do it so that every time you have sex you will remember me."

The woman, who met Laird when she was just 15, said she thought she was "living in a Jerry Springer show".

She made the remark after telling of how Laird, who was her partner, groomed her young sister from the age of 11.

The woman sobbed as she described how she told Laird she was leaving him after discovering her sister was pregnant by him.

Laird grabbed her by the neck and said: "How can we not work things out, I've apologised."

He then produced a knife and threatened to rape her.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, described Laird as "nasty and petty" and told of how he ripped up her college notes.

The court also heard from her sister who told advocate depute Kath Harper, prosecuting, that Laird began sexually abusing her from the age of 11.

She claimed that shortly after the birth of their child Laird raped her.

The jury found that rape charge not proven, but convicted Laird of sexually abusing her.

Victim humiliated

Ms Harper said: "This victim was only a young girl when Laird began grooming her. She says she was naive and immature."

Another of Laird's victims agreed to have sex with him, but then asked him to stop as she was in so much pain.

Laird told her: "Oh the wee lassie can't take it." The victim said she was humiliated by his response after she had asked him two or three times to stop.

Another rape victim told how she met Laird on an internet site and described sex with him as "rough".

She said on occasions she told him to stop, but he just ignored her and added: "It's not consensual sex when you are held down."

After she broke up with Laird he continued to text her and her teenage daughter.

Another of Laird's victims was regularly slapped and punched by him. She also said that he refused to listen when she said she did not want sex with him. He also choked her and threatened her with a knife.

Ms Harper said "If Mr Laird didn't get his own way the nastiness and violence followed. He is a danger to women and in particular vulnerable women. He needs to get his own way. He will not be crossed."

All of Laird's victims told of how he would taunt them saying they were fat or telling them no one else would want them.

He isolated them from family and friends and used violence to get his own way.

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