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Crime: Moray man pleads guilty to three rapes

By Ali Morrison

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A 34-year-old man is facing a lengthy prison sentence after admitting a series of repeated violent, physical and sexual attacks.

Inverness Sheriff Court. Picture: Gary Anthony.
Inverness Sheriff Court. Picture: Gary Anthony.

Sean Hartley committed serious offences against several different women all over the Highlands and Moray between 2004 and 2019.

Hartley, who is originally from Forres, was due to stand trial at the High Court in Inverness today where he faced a total of 26 charges.

But his defence counsel, Brian McConnachie, told Lord Mulholland that his client wished to admit some of the offences.

Lord Mulholland is now due to sentence Hartley tomorrow.

Hartley pleaded guilty to seven charges, including three rapes, three serious assaults and one of a course of domestic abuse.

  • Charge 1 - Hartley repeatedly punched and slapped a woman in various locations in Elgin, Forres and Nairn between February 25, 2004 and December 31, 2005. He also pushed her and seized her by the hair, held a pillow over her head, threw objects at her, repeatedly kicked her on the body and spat on her all to her injury.
  • Charge 2 - He raped a woman in a house in Forres on July 9, 2005.
  • Charge 3 - He repeatedly punched and slapped a woman around the head and broke jewellery from around her neck on various occasions between June 1, 2008 and November 19, 2009 at a house in Burghead.
  • Charge 4 - on various occasions between February 19, 2010 and August 31, 2014 at properties in Inverness, Culloden, Inverness city centre, the Merkinch area of Inverness, a bar on Keppoch Road, Inverness and a house in Forres, he repeatedly slapped and punched a woman on the head and body. He also compressed her neck, restricting her breathing. In addition he threw a cup of hot liquid at her and spat on her.
  • Charge 5 - on various occasions between the same dates and locations as charge 4, he sexually assaulted and raped a woman, while restricting her breathing.
  • Charge 6 - on July 28, 2017 at a house in Forres, he raped a woman.
  • Charge 7 - between April 1, 2014 and December 10, 2019 at properties in Thurso, Forres, and Inverness including a children's playpark, he subjected a woman to a course of domestic abuse, threatened to kill her, called her derogatory names, compressed her neck and restricted her breathing, and struck her on the head and body. The charge also includes that Hartley threw hot liquid at her, spat on her, isolated her from her family and friends by deleting her mobile phone contacts and controlled her access to social media. He also chose her clothing, regulated and monitored her activities and had her send him pictures of her whereabouts.

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