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Rapist Ben Moss jailed for campaign of abuse spanning a decade

A violent sex offender who refused to take "no for an answer" has been jailed for more than eight years.

Ben Moss, 26, targeted a number of women and girls during a campaign of abuse that spanned a decade and began when he was a teenage schoolboy.

Moss pleaded guilty to 20 charges which included rape, sexual assault, sending indecent images, threatening and abusive behaviour, and assault.

A judge told Moss that the harm he had caused was "serious".

Lady Haldane stated: "A theme emerging amongst all the complainers is your repeated demands for sex and your refusal to take no for an answer."

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how the youngest victim was only 13 or 14 when the abuse began, which escalated to assault and rape.

Lady Haldane said a narrative prepared for the court set out "at times harrowing detail" the nature of his offending and its effect on the victims.

It included accounts of the rape of three complainers involving violence or threats of violence against them.

The court heard he became controlling towards one of the girls. He pulled out her nose ring, suggested that she "kill herself" and told her that she was "ugly" during his campaign of abuse.

When she was aged between 14 and 16, Moss pushed, punched and kicked her, pinned her against the wall and grabbed her by the throat.

Advocate depute Alexander Sutherland told the court she regularly had bruises at the top of her arms and black eyes.

Moss also pushed her down a flight of stairs and subjected her to sexual assault and rape.

Years later he sent explicit images of himself alongside a video of him having sex with another girl, stating: "This is what you are missing."

Another teenager who was assaulted and raped by Moss was locked out naked on a balcony at flats in Leith after he punched, kicked and strangled her.

During one attack he placed both of his hands around her neck and told her to shut up or he would kill her. He later forced the crying victim to have sex.

Moss also took photographs of the teenager naked and during sex without her being aware and sent images to Facebook friends asking for others in return.

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Moss committed the crimes between 2009 and 2019 in Edinburgh and in South Queensferry, Ratho and Kirkliston in the surrounding area.

In defence, Brian McConnachie KC said Moss had accepted responsibility for his crimes and would engage with "any offer of assistance".

Mr McConnachie added that Moss was brought up in "frankly horrific circumstances" but managed to find himself a profession and employment.

On Thursday, Moss was jailed for eight years and three months and told he will be under supervision for an additional five years upon his release from prison.

Moss, who previously worked at restaurants, bars and in the hotel trade in the Edinburgh area, was also placed on the sex offenders' register for an indefinite period.

Lady Haldane stated: "There will be opportunities during this sentence to address the issues which have contributed to your offending and I strongly advise you to take advantage of those opportunities if you are to have any prospect of making a positive contribution to society when you are released."