South Scotland

Sex predator given life sentence

A serial sex predator who raped three women over a two-year period has been given a life sentence with a minimum term of five years.

William Sands, 53, committed the offences between April 2010 and August 2012 at various address in Dumfries and Annan.

At the High Court in Glasgow, judge Kenneth McIver QC said Sands posed a "significant danger" to women.

Sands had previously been convicted of the offences after a trial.

He repeatedly raped his first victim, raped his second victim twice and the third woman once.

One of Sands' victims tried to kill herself before the trial and another attempted suicide days after giving evidence and before the trial ended.

'High risk'

Judge McIver told Sands: "You are a violent and abusive individual. A serial sexual predator who preyed on vulnerable women.

"You were convicted in 1986 for rape and sentenced to five years and convicted of assault and robbery with a significant sexual element in 1994 and jailed for seven years.

"The present and the past come together to present a picture of a man who presents a significant danger of women and is rated as at high risk of re-offending against women in a sexually violent way."

He ordered Sands to serve five years behind bars before being eligible to apply for parole. The parole board will only release Sands when he no longer poses a danger to the public.

Sands has been diagnosed as having an anti-social personality disorder with paranoid and avoidant traits.

The court heard that he continues to protest his innocence and has indicated he will refuse to co-operate with the authorities in prison and will not take part in any treatment programmes.

Judge McIver told Sands: "I can simply advise that this is an unwise course for you to follow and I suggest you should co-operate and take the treatment that is offered to you."