Rapist faces life sentence after 27-years of sex attacks

Kenneth Watt was found guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh
Kenneth Watt was found guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh

A rapist who spent almost three decades subjecting a number of women in Fife to a catalogue of violence and serious sexual assaults, could be facing a life sentence.

Kenneth Watt (46) was found guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh of a number of offences of brutalising females over a 27-year period.

The court heard how he repeatedly raped a woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on various occasions between February 1988 and November 1994 at locations in Kirkcaldy.

Watt, who has several previous convictions for dishonesty, then started preying on a girl aged four, subjecting her to violent physical and sexual assaults between February 1990 and February 1997.

Between June 2004 and June 2007, Watt also repeatedly assaulted another woman, who also cannot be named for legal reasons. He also raped her in late 2005.

Watt then repeatedly battered another woman between July 2013 and December 2015.

Police then launched an investigation into Watt’s activities and managed to collect enough evidence to arrest him.

But Watt then assaulted Detective Constable Lesley Anne Couper at Kirkcaldy Police Office in June 2016 before refusing to provide her colleagues with his fingerprints and a DNA sample.

On Friday, judge Lord Brailsford decided to call for a risk assessment report to see if the nature of Watt’s offending means the court should impose an Order for Lifelong Restriction.

An OLR means that an offender is only released back into the community once the parole board is satisfied they no longer pose a risk to the wider community.

The judge said he would deal with Watt at the High Court in Edinburgh on September 15.

In April 2017, jurors convicted Watt of rape, sexual assault and physical assault charges.

He was also convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice by refusing to comply with police requests to provide them with his fingerprints and DNA.

Watt interrupted proceedings by shouting from the dock. The evidence was heard in Watt’s absence. He was kept in touch of what was being heard in court by his legal team who would consult him during breaks in the evidence.

Following conviction, Lord Brailsford told jurors that they had heard evidence in what was a “highly unusual” trial.

Deferring sentence for the court to obtain reports into Watt’s character, Lord Brailsford added: “I have never conducted a case in 11 years on the bench in which an accused person has been absent from proceedings.”

Watt targeted all his victims at various addresses in Kirkcaldy.

One of Watt’s victims told the court of how Watt repeatedly targeted her in the town.

She said she was physically and sexually abused by Watt between June 2004 and June 2007.

She told the jurors about how Watt raped her on one occasion in late 2005 in a derelict building in Kirkcaldy’s East March Street.

She said: “He told me he was going to stab me. I was scared. I was very scared.

“I said ‘please no, please no, not here. Not like this.”

But the court heard how Watt ignored her pleas.

Following the jury’s verdict, prosecution lawyer Keith Stewart QC revealed that Watt had previous convictions for dishonesty.

On Friday, Lord Brailsford said he considered the nature of the offences meant he should call for a risk assessment report.

The case against Watt will now call again in September 2017.