Man sentenced for sexual abuse offences in Hawick
A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to nine years for the rape of three women in Hawick.
In August 2021, a 26-year-old woman disclosed to officers that she had been raped and abused by her partner. Following this disclosure, officers from the Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit launched an investigation and identified a further two victims.
Following enquiries, William Rackstraw was arrested and charged.
At the High Court in Airdrie, he has been sentenced for his crimes.
Detective Constable Kelly Bonnyman said: “What the women endured is unimaginable. Rackstraw subjected his partners to sustained physical, mental and emotional abuse. One woman, pregnant while suffering this abuse, lost her baby. Rackstraw told the women he loved them but his actions were not driven by love but by his own desire to inflict pain. All three women have shown tremendous courage in talking about their experience at the hands of this man.
“Rackstraw is now behind bars unable to commit any further abuse on women.
“I would encourage anyone who is suffering or who has suffered domestic abuse and violence to contact us in the knowledge that we will do everything in our power to ensure you get justice.”
Nicola Welsh, from Held in Our Hearts charity said: We are always saddened to learn of any baby dying but under these circumstances, it is even more heart-breaking and difficult to imagine what this woman has endured. Many members of our team are bereaved and understand the lifelong effects and deep sadness that follows the death of a precious baby. Through our 1-2-1 peer support and specialist baby loss counselling service, we aim to provide compassionate care and hope at a difficult time.
“We will continue to be there for this woman and will do all we can to support her at this devastating time. Our doors and hearts are open to anyone bereaved of a baby who wants to talk to others who understand.”