A rapist who “brutalised and bullied” four former partners has been jailed and will be monitored for life after posthumous testimony from two victims.
Alexander Thomson, 42, was found guilty of subjecting a series of women to sexual assaults and violent attacks between 2012 and 2019 following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow in February.
He knocked out the teeth of one victim and burned her body with cigarettes, while another woke to find Thomson had placed a plastic bag over her head to restrict her breathing.
He was given an order for lifelong restriction with a minimum punishment period of four years behind bars when he was sentenced at the court on Friday, the Crown Office said.
The order, imposed on people convicted of serious violence or sexual offences, means he will only be released from prison if the Parole Board considers it safe to do so and he will be subject to intense supervision if he is freed.
Thomson, from Broxburn, West Lothian, was also given a lifetime non-harassment order, preventing him approaching or contacting his victims.
Two women – aged 30 and 36 – died before Thomson’s trial began but they had previously provided statements to police about their experiences.
Prosecutors were granted permission by the court to have those statements admitted as evidence, and they were read to the jury at Thomson’s trial.
Fraser Gibson, Scotland’s head procurator fiscal for High Court sexual offences, said: “Alexander Thomson’s offending brutalised and bullied women who trusted him. He betrayed their trust in the most despicable manner.
“It is extremely sad that two of his victims did not live to see Thomson be brought to justice.
“We are grateful for the evidence they provided in their determination that he be held to account – and to the other two women who bravely spoke out.
“The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is committed to the rigorous pursuit of justice. Our prosecutors will utilise all evidence available in this process.
“We would urge any victim or witness of similar offending to come forward, report it and seek help.”
The jury found Thomson guilty of 17 charges involving the abuse of four former partners, including assault, abduction and 10 counts of rape.
Detective Chief Inspector Steven McMillan of Police Scotland said: “Thomson is a dangerous, serial abuser who presents a threat to women. Today’s sentencing will hopefully ensure that others are kept safe from him. He inflicted some of the most horrendous and shocking abuse I’ve ever come across.
“Without the bravery, courage and dignity of the women who came forward to report what had happened to them, Thomson wouldn’t have been held accountable for his actions, so I’d like to thank them.
“It was important all of the women got justice. Sadly two passed away before trial and it was right their evidence was heard in court through the reading of their statements. I hope today’s sentencing brings some comfort for all of the women and their families.
“Violence and abuse will not be tolerated. I would urge anyone who is or who has been a victim of abuse to get in touch with us, but if they’re not ready to speak to us, to speak to someone they trust, people will listen.
“It’s never too late to report domestic abuse. I can assure you we will do everything we can to ensure you are supported, we will listen and we will thoroughly investigate all reports of abuse.”