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Crime in Moray: 'Despicable' sex offender from Elgin jailed

By Ali Morrison

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A prolific predator from Moray has been jailed for eight years today for a catalogue of sex crimes against 10 victims.

A judge told Matthew Watson that his behaviour was "utterly despicable".

Lord Richardson stated the 36-year had used his victims for sexual gratification, adding his actions have had a profound and long-lasting effect on some of them.

Speaking at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Richardson added: "As you will surely recognise a lengthy period in custody is the only appropriate sentence I can pass on you to reflect your appalling conduct.

"You subjected each of these women to deeply distressing experiences."

Lord Richardson also ordered Watson should be kept under supervision for a further five years following his eventual release from prison.

The court heard that Watson of Mannochmore, Thomshill, had been assessed as posing a high risk of being convicted again for sexual offences in the future.

Lord Richardson said a background report prepared on the rapist revealed that he continued to deny responsibility for his most serious crimes.

Watson was earlier found guilty of five offences by a jury.

These included three charges of rape and one of assault with intent to rape.

He also admitted a further 13 offences, including indecent conduct and having sex with a minor.

The offences occurred across Moray and in Inverness between 2005, when Watson was 19, and 2018.

One victim told police that Watson had sent her a friend's request through Facebook after her 14th birthday.

His messages to the schoolgirl quickly became flirtatious, then increasingly sexual.

He asked for naked pictures.

As a result of his persistence she sent him a topless photograph.

Watson responded with pictures of his naked torso and penis.

He went on to pick up the child in his car and drive her to a wooded area for sex on two occasions.

Another 14-year-old was raped inside a car at a location in Inverness.

Watson will be placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

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