January 2021

Convicted rapist continued to threaten victim from prison

A convicted rapist who warned he would “snap” his pregnant partner’s neck continued to threaten her from prison.

Richard Wotherspoon used an illegal phone to call her and demand that she have charges against him dropped.

Wotherspoon, 31, was jailed for 19 months at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Friday after he admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He also admitted possessing a phone in HMP Addiewell and breaching bail conditions by going to Gemma’s home in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, in September after his release from jail.

Wotherspoon had ­previously admitted inflicting minor injuries on his partner during an assault at the flat. The court heard he threatened to “snap her neck and take a murder charge” for her.

Wotherspoon – who was locked up for four years for raping a woman in 2006 – was on remand in prison for the latest assault when he called Gemma ­repeatedly last February.

The beast threatened to reveal “sensitive” ­information if she testified against him.

Jennifer Cunningham, prosecuting, told the court: “She presumed this was an attempt to discredit any evidence she gave.”

Jailing him, Sheriff Douglas Brown told ­Wotherspoon: “An attempt to pervert the course of justice will always lead to a severe sentence.”

Wotherspoon was also handed a two-year non-harassment order, banning him from having any contact with Gemma.

He was 16 when he was locked up for four years in 2006 for the rape of a supermarket worker in Airdrie.

A manhunt was launched when ­Wotherspoon went missing days after being freed on licence in 2008.

He had been freed from jail just weeks before the latest assault, having served half of a four-month sentence.