Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

John Kennedy jailed for eight years for raping woman after night out

High Court in Edinburgh

A man who pretended to be "the nicest guy ever" before raping a woman after a night out in West Lothian has been jailed for eight years.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard John Kennedy, 42, had earlier been with the woman at a pub in Armadale.

Kennedy, from Bathgate, last month admitted assaulting and raping the woman in December 2008.

Judge Lord Pentland described him as a "violent bully" and said he had no other option but to send him to prison.

Kennedy also admitted assaulting a girl from the age of four in West Lothian and East Renfrewshire.

He further pled guilty to attacking a boy from the age of three with the child being slapped, pushed, struck and spat on.

'Shocking conduct'

Sentencing had been deferred for the court to obtain reports about Kennedy's character.

Ordering Kennedy to be supervised by the authorities for three years following his release from custody, Lord Pentland said: "You are a violent bully who terrorised your victims. It is very likely that there will be lasting effects on each of them.

"In my opinion, you lack genuine empathy for any of your victims.

"I have came to the view that in order to maintain public safety - and in particular the safety of women - I require to impose a prison sentence in your case."

During earlier proceedings, the court heard when the rape victim first met Kennedy she described him as "the nicest guy ever".

But Kennedy later attacked the 38-year-old and burned her with a cigarette and throttled her.

The court heard how Kennedy followed the woman into a bedroom and raped his victim despite her telling him no.

Defence solicitor advocate Michael Bell said his client had participated in "shocking and persistent conduct".

Mr Bell said his client had spent 20 years battling an alcohol problem and his abuse of drink was one of the reasons why Kennedy had broken the law.

He added: "His drinking is now under control."

Mr Bell also asked Lord Pentland to show leniency to his client because Kennedy had pleaded guilty to the offences.

Lord Pentland also placed Kennedy on the Sex Offenders Register.

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