A former police officer was today jailed for 14 years for a catalogue of rape and sexual abuse offences against three women.
David Cunningham committed the offences described by judge Lord Armstrong as “controlling and coercive” over a 14-year period.
The 60-year-old regularly raped one woman between January 2005 and June 2008.
He also forced her to stand outside in her underwear in bad weather on various occasions between January 2007 and June 2008.
Cunningham raped another woman once or twice a week between December 2000 and April 2004.
His third victim was sexually abused between June 2011 and October 2014 and on one occasion in September 2012 he choked her so violently she feared she was going to be strangled.
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All the offences were committed at various addresses in the Highlands.
Lord Armstrong told Cunningham: “Your conduct was for your sexual gratification and was controlling and coercive.
“All the woman say in their victim impact statement that what you did has had a significant and lasting detrimental effect on them. You appear to lack any remorse.”
Defence counsel Jennifer Bain said: “Mr Cunningham was found guilty after trial. His position at trial was one of denial, but he now accepts there are aspects of his behaviour that he should be questioning.
“He is in a long-term relationship and his partner is standing by him and he has the support of friends and ex-colleagues.
“Mr Cunningham has worked since leaving school. He started as a cadet and then a police constable in his early 20s and then went into farm management. He has no previous convictions.”
Detective Inspector Donald MacDonald said: “We acknowledge the sentencing of David Cunningham today at court. Cunningham took advantage of these women for his own depraved sexual gratification.
“I want to pay tribute to the three victims for their bravery in coming forward and assisting us with our inquiry which ultimately led to Cunningham being apprehended and brought to justice.
“I hope that today’s conviction will help bring some closure for them.
“This case again underlines that Police Scotland is committed to protecting people and we continue to encourage victims of sexual crimes to come forward and report it to us no matter when they happened and to have the confidence that we will take it seriously and thoroughly investigate.”
Cunningham was placed on the sex offenders’ register.