Falkirk ex-prison officer posed online as woman to lure and rape vulnerable young men

A former prison officer from Falkirk has been jailed for 10 years after perpetrating a cruel con by posing as a woman online to lure vulnerable young men for sex attacks.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 12:37 pm

Garry McDonald raped two victims after using a fake persona and picture as a teenage university student on a dating forum to attract potential targets.

A judge told McDonald: "You used this fiction to persuade two vulnerable young men to meet you."

Lord Boyd of Duncansby said that he carried out "a carefully planned course of criminal conduct designed to lure young men into having sex without their consent".

High Court, Edinburgh

Lord Boyd of Duncansby said it was clear to him that the targeting of vulnerable young men and the degree of deception and grooming involved in the offending meant that he posed a considerable risk.

The judge ordered that McDonald (42) should be kept under supervision for a further two year period.

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McDonald, formerly of Teviot Street, had earlier denied a series of sex charges was was found guilty of five offences - two of rape and three of sexual communications while pretending he was a female called Claire.

He attacked his first victim on February 23 in 2019 and detained him at his family home and subjected him to a rape ordeal.

He raped his second victim at the man's home in a nearby town on May 16 in 2019.

The first victim, now aged 26, told police during an interview that he has learning difficulties and memory problems.

He said he had met a person on a dating website with a female name and saw a picture of the girl who was about his age.

They began communicating through texts and he travelled from his home in Fife to a meeting at an Asda store in Falkirk.

The man said the plan was to go somewhere to eat but when he turned up at the store for the date he was approached by a man in his 40s who told him he was the person with the female name on the website.

He said: "I think I was shocked. I didn't know what to do. The panic started to set in." The man told him they were going back to his place, leaving him feeling uncomfortable.

He told officers: "I didn't know what to expect." He said the man was talking to him about "kissing and all that". He said he did not want to have sex with the man but was told he would be doing it.

"He wanted me to do it. I didn't want to do it," he said. At McDonald's address he was told to take his clothes off and pushed onto a bed where he was raped.

The second man, aged 24, was also in contact with "Claire" who held out the prospect of a sexual relationship on condition that he have sex with a male.

McDonald turned up at his home and raped him after telling him that Claire would be unhappy if he did not comply.

Shop manager McDonald was previously jailed for 54 months for taking illegal drugs into Addiewell jail when he was a prison officer.

Defence counsel Thomas Ross QC said: "He comes from an extremely supportive background."

McDonald was placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

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