Depraved Scottish predator from notorious crime clan jailed for raping young girls
A member of a once feared crime clan has been jailed for 13 years for the terrible abuse of young girls.
James Winters has been locked up after appearing in Glasgow High Court this week.
Vile Winters attacked six terrified victims, including one of the girls who was only seven or eight years old when she was attacked, and raped four.
His victims were too afraid to speak out for years, scared of the reputation of Winters and his family in the Johnstone area of Renfrewshire.
Winters’ relatives include a convicted killer, who even lost an eye after being stabbed in an alleged gang attack in the 1990s.
Despite his reputation, his victims bravely testified last month, which saw the 61-year-old convicted on a total of 13 counts.
The crimes spread between 1979 and 1997 in various locations in Johnstone and Paisley, as well as in cars.
Lady Haldane told Winters that a victim was so regularly abused that she tragically came to believe that what had happened to her was “normal”.
The judge added: “It was consistent, manipulative and predatory behavior.
“Each victim was, in one or the other, vulnerable.
“It took a lot of courage to testify against you.
“They were afraid to tell anyone because you said no one would believe them or for fear of retaliation against them or their families.”
Winters, now of Paisley, showed no emotion after his conviction.
A woman shouted “I love you” to him while he was handcuffed to the cells.
In his testimony last month, Winters confessed to being no stranger to crime.
His QC Iain McSporran told him: “We might have felt like you were able back then to have a lifestyle – including flash cars – because of crime rather than hard work. . Is that the position? “
Mr McSporran also asked: “Were there times when you or your family got scared?”
He replied, “My brothers and I protected ourselves. We did not back down from anyone.”
Winters said the “turning point” was around 1993 when it was “skipped”.
He recalled: “I was stabbed in the eye and the blade broke in the eye.”
Although he admitted to being involved in other illegal activities, he denied the sexual abuse.
One of the victims was repeatedly raped by Winters between the age of 16 and her 20s.
But Winters claimed he had been in a relationship with her of late and all sexual contact was “consensual.”
Winters was convicted of five charges of rape, five of obscene and libidinous acts, two indecent assault and another felony of assault with intent to rape.
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Mr McSporran told the hearing: “He maintains his innocence with regard to the charges.
“He is a very different man today than the one we have heard about in the testimonies.”
Winters has also been indefinitely on the sex offender list.