Rapist fails in bid to have convictions quashed

Glasgow High Court. (Photo: John Devlin)
Glasgow High Court. (Photo: John Devlin)

A rapist who was caught after he reported one of his victims to the police for sending him abusive texts has failed in a bid to have his convictions quashed.

James McMeekin,54, was given an eight year sentence at the High Court in Glasgow in June 2018 after being found guilty of raping two women.

The court heard how McMeekin, of Irvine, Ayrshire, preyed on one of his victims whilst she slept at a house in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, in July 2009.

He was also found guilty of raping a 43-year-old woman at a house in Girvan, Ayrshire, on July 11 2015.

However, his lawyers believed that McMeekin had suffered a miscarriage of justice and lodged an appeal at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

Advocate Craig Findlater argued that the attacks were so different in nature to each other that prosecution lawyers couldn’t use them as corroboration in the case against McMeekin.

Mr Findlater argued that the rules of corroboration as used in sexual assault prosecutions meant that such had to be similar to each other in nature and close to each other in time.

He said the nature of the attacks meant they couldn’t be used as corroboration and that his client consequently should never have been convicted.

However, appeal judges Lord Carloway, Lord Menzies and Lord Turnbull rejected the submissions made by Mr Findlater.

In a written judgement, issued on Tuesday, Lord Carloway wrote: “In these circumstances, the appeal must be refused.”

During proceedings last year, the court heard how McMeekin reported his first rape victim to the police when she sent him abusive texts.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was prosecuted for this.

But when police read the texts they realised that the woman was accusing McMeekin of raping her while she was asleep. Police took a statement from her but at that point, she did not want action taken against him.

In 2015 when the second victim came forward the police contacted the first victim again and this time she agreed to give evidence against her rapist.

In evidence in court, the woman said: “I woke up and he was having sex with me. I told him to stop but he didn’t.”

McMeekin’s other victim reported him to the police after realising he had raped her.

McMeekin claimed that he had consensual sex with both women but the jury did not believe him.

Prosecutor Sheena Fraser told the court that McMeekin’s second victim had to get a non harassment order against him in 2015 against him in 2015 at Ayr Sheriff Court

McMeekin was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register. Defence advocate Louise Arrol said at the time that her client maintained he was innocent of any wrong doing.

He will continue to serve his prison sentence.