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WIFE RAPIST IS 'DEVOTED HUSBAND' CLAIMS JUDGE; Campaigners' fury at one-year prison term.

A JUDGE yesterday described a man who raped his wife at knife- point as "a devoted husband who was driven to rape because his wife wouldn't have sex with him".

And at the High Court in Edinburgh, the judge, Lord Abernethy, sentenced the rapist - who cannot be named in order to protect the victim's identity - to just 12 months in prison.

Women's groups yesterday slammed the sentence as "ridiculous".

Jailing the 32-year-old man for the knife-point rape, Lord Abernethy said: "I am quite satisfied that what you did was completely out of character.

"From what I was told the problem so far as your wife was concerned was not that you treated her badly in any way but that you smothered her with love.

"It may be that things built up inside you against a background of your wife being unable to reciprocate your love and devotion in the same effusive way."

The Midlothian man and his 37-year-old wife were married in 1996, after knowing each other for several years, and worked in the same shop together.

But he quickly grew obsessive about her and she had not been allowed out on her own for the previous four years.

She said that he "put her on a pedestal" and even did all the cooking and cleaning in an attempt to win her love.

But the court heard the wife found all the attention completely overwhelming.

The one-year term means he could be out within weeks, as time he has already served on remand will be deducted from the sentence.

Shelia MacKay, of Edinburgh Rape Crisis, said: "It is welcome that a wife has managed to get her husband convicted, but that the courts should see fit to give him such a tiny sentence is ridiculous."

Last night the wife - who was forced to flee to a women's refuge after she was raped by her husband - said: "I haven't come to terms with the verdict yet."
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Author:Prince, Rosa
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 18, 1998
Words:325
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