Alexander Gable jailed for four elderly women attacks
A convicted rapist who was linked to four attacks on elderly women through his car's sat-nav system has been placed on a lifelong restriction order.
Alexander Gable tied up and threatened the women, aged between 74 and 94, and indecently assaulted three of them.
The 55-year-old forced his victims, who lived in Ayrshire, Stirlingshire and the Highlands, to reveal their bank pin numbers so he could steal their money.
Gable must serve 10 years in jail before he can be considered for parole.
He was convicted of assault and theft charges after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow in July.
The court heard how he targeted the four women, who all lived alone in ground floor properties.
Gable targeted his first victim, an 82-year-old woman, after he got into her home in Kilmaurs, East Ayrshire.
He woke her up, tied together her wrists and ankles and demanded the pin number for her bank card, then stole £300.
On 7 July last year he carried out a similar assault on a 74-year-old woman at her home in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire.
Gable forced a blanket into her mouth, hid telephones and again used a bank card to steal £300.
He then targeted a 87-year-old woman 11 days later at a property in Callander, Stirlingshire, and stole £600.
His final victim was a 94-year-old woman in the Highland town of Alness, who he threatened with a metal bar.
Gable fled the property after his victim said to him: "Would you treat your mum the same?"
Police investigating the assault and robbery in Kilmaurs found traces of his DNA on a handbag and arrested Gable as he arrived back from a trip to Northern Ireland on a ferry.
Specialist software was used to download information from the sat-nav device in his car.
It located him at or close to each of the crime scenes. He was found to have been just 20 seconds away from one of the auto tellers he used to steal cash.
Gable denied the attacks and told the jury he had been travelling across Scotland looking for premises to open a cafe or a florist shop with his Polish partner.
His claims were not believed and he was convicted of carrying out the attacks between May 2009 and July 2010.
Following his trial, it emerged that Gable has 113 previous convictions - including having served a 10-year jail term for raping a widow in her home in the Borders in 1989.
He was also locked up in the Republic of Ireland in 2009 for a spate of break-ins. In one, he stole takings from a priest's house.
Gable was placed on a lifelong restriction order when he appeared for sentencing on Friday at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Temporary judge Mike O'Grady QC told Gable he would have to serve at least 10 years in jail before the parole board decides whether he can be released back into the community.
Judge O'Grady said he took note of a court report which said Gable was at high risk of re-offending.
He said: "You have been convicted of the most appalling crimes. They are as premeditated, callous and as heartless as it has been my misfortune to encounter.
"I am satisfied that an order for lifelong restriction is the only disposal which merits the dreadful circumstances of the case."