'Dangerous' rapist who attacked and stalked women jailed

A "dangerous" rapist who attacked and harassed three women has been jailed for nine years.

Bernard Callaghan, 53, targeted his victims in the Fife, Edinburgh and East Lothian areas of Scotland over the course of more than a decade.

Callaghan was last month convicted of 10 charges following a trial and was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

He was handed a 12-year extended sentence, with nine years in jail and three years on licence once released back into the community.

The court heard how he assaulted and injured one woman, raping her several times, and also stalked her.

Judge Lady Poole said: "She suffered both physical and psychological injuries because of what you did to her."

He raped another woman and "displayed a similar pattern of bombarding her with messages", the court heard.

Callaghan met his third victim on a dating website and went on to rape her on their second date.

The judge said the sentence reflected "the nature and seriousness of the crimes".

Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Craig Donnelly said: "Bernard Callaghan is a very dangerous individual who is now being held accountable for his despicable behaviour towards the three victims.

"Their experiences will undoubtedly have left a lasting impact, however, I hope that this outcome provides them with some degree of closure and helps them to move on with their lives."