David Findlay has become the first person to be found guilty of ‘sex without consent’. Instead of being charged with the crime of rape, he was prosecuted under Scotland’s new domestic abuse laws.

At trial the jury found him guilty of having sex with his ex-partner without her consent as part of a pattern of violent and coercive behaviour. 

Until now all rapes and attempted rape charges have been prosecuted under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009. However, the conviction rate has resulted in criticism. In 2020-21 there were 78 convictions from every 2,298 cases of this nature. 

In respect of the Findlay case, he was prosecuted under domestic abuse laws for having sex with his ex-partner on various occasions without her consent, as well as subjecting her to physical abuse. 

The complainer told the court: “As a woman, I was there to service him and I shouldn’t say no. When he wanted it I was to give it or he’d take it. I was scared to say no. I’d say: ‘David, I’m not in the mood. I don’t want to’. His response was ‘I’m a sex addict’.”

She also said in her evidence that he strangled her until she lost consciousness which left her partially paralysed from a mini stroke. 

Another ex-partner explained that he choked her until she was struggling for breath. 

At trial he was convicted of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards one of the women and assaulting her by compressing her beck. In relation to the other complainer he was found guilty of abusive behaviour and have non-consensual sex with her. 

Lady Haldane sentenced him to five years imprisonment with a three-year extended sentence. He was placed on the sex offender’s register indefinitely.