Man jailed for rape of three women in Scottish Borders

Police in Hawick are appealing for witnesses after a member of staff was threatened during an attempted robbery at Morrisons Petrol Station.
Police Scotland arrested Rackstraw after a woman came forward. Credit: PA Images

A 25-year-old man has been jailed for nine years for the rapes of three women in Hawick.

William Rackstraw was sentenced at Airdrie High Court.

In August 2021, a woman told Police Scotland she had been raped and abused. An investigation identified two further victims and Rackstraw was later arrested.

Detective Constable Kelly Bonnyman explained that one of the victims had lost a baby while suffering abuse and said: "What the women endured is unimaginable."

She added: "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."

DC Bonnyman also encouraged any woman who had suffered any kind of abuse to speak to the police, adding "we will do everything in our power to ensure you get justice".

Nicola Welsh, from Held in Our Hearts charity, which supports anyone who has lost a baby, said: “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.”