Guilty verdict for man on multiple rape charges

A man was found guilty at Aberdeen High Court this week of multiple counts of rape.

Duncan Begg (48), whose address was given as Portree on Skye, went on trial two weeks ago facing 43 charges relating to lewd behaviour against children, rapes, indecent assaults and attacks on three women.

He was initially accused of threatening to cook a baby and claimed to have tied a ligature around an infant’s body then dangled the child out a window, but these charges and several others were dropped during the trial.

On Monday a jury took just under two hours to find him guilty of eight offences relating to two of the women in what Judge Morris described as a very “anxious and distressing” trial.
All the offences are said to have taken place over a 26-year period between January 1984 and January 2010 at various locations in the Wick area of Caithness.

Begg, who lived in Dornie prior to his arrest, was remanded in custody and put on the sex offenders register. Sentencing has been deferred for background reports until 1st August at the High Court in Glasgow.

It was revealed during the trial that one of his victims was subjected to a horrific indecent assault while pregnant in 1991, when Begg banged her head on bars, put his hand inside her body and threatened to remove her unborn child.

On another occasion, when she was not pregnant, he repeatedly punched her on the face and burnt her breast with a cigarette as well as pouring a bottle of whisky over her face and raping her.

Commenting on the guilty verdict, Detective Inspector Eddie Ross of Police Scotland’s Inverness-based domestic abuse investigation unit, and chair of the multi-agency risk assessment conference in Highland which focuses on protecting high-risk victims of domestic abuse, said: “It would not be appropriate to comment further on the conviction prior to sentencing other than to acknowledge the courage of his victims in not only coming forward but staying with the prosecution process to conviction.

“This case is one of the first investigated by the Inverness-based domestic abuse investigation unit, established in September 2012. The unit works with other agencies as well as other similar police units across Scotland, to protect victims of domestic abuse and their children. As well as this victim-focused work, research and targeting of repeat perpetrators of domestic abuse is a core function of domestic abuse investigation units in Police Scotland.”

DI Ross added: “Police Scotland pro-actively focuses resources on the perpetrators of domestic crime by profiling offenders and identifying victims to ensure that best evidence is gathered so that those who commit domestic abuse offences are brought to justice.”