Glasgow & West Scotland

Ex-Albion Rovers footballer jailed for raping women

James Coulter Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption James Coulter denied the charges against him

A former footballer has been jailed for six years after being convicted of raping three of his former partners.

Ex-Albion Rovers player James Coulter, 33, was found guilty of nine charges, including rape, against the women between 2009 and 2014.

His trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard that Coulter assaulted one victim with his Player of the Year trophy hours after winning it.

He was caught when one of the victims contacted police.

'Catalogue of abuse'

Jailing him at the High Court in Paisley, judge John Morris QC told Coulter he had been convicted of a "catalogue of abuse" against women who had "showed nothing but love and affection".

During his trial, Coulter had denied the allegations against him and claimed that any sexual contact was consensual.

The court heard that he got to know the first victim - who became a teacher - when she worked behind the bar at a club in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire.

The jury heard how he would call her abusive names, push her around and spit on her.

After he won player of the year for a local junior team, Coulter later lost his temper and struck the woman with the glass trophy.

He went on to rape her, ignoring her cries for him to stop.

It was also claimed he threatened to publish "indecent images" of her on the internet and send them to her family.

Coulter's second victim was a civil servant, whom he regularly assaulted before going on to rape.

Victim filmed

The court was told the victim desperately gasped for air during the sex attack.

Coulter had also earlier recorded the woman performing a sex act on him without her knowledge.

The court also heard that Coulter was a gambling addict and the second victim regularly handed over cash to him unaware she was feeding his habit.

She now has about £30,000 of debt, which she believes will take decades to pay off.

A third woman - a nurse - was attacked by Coulter after he met her at a local nightclub.

He eventually raped her at a house in Blantyre in 2014.

Coulter was finally caught when the second woman went to police.

This sparked a probe by the Domestic Abuse Taskforce.

It later emerged that Coulter had regularly assaulted a fourth woman between 2001 and 2002.

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