London, Jan 12 (ANI): A Scottish policeman has been ordered to serve two life sentences after he was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting vulnerable women, and warned he might never get out of jail.
Northumbria Police officer Stephen Mitchell, 42, formerly of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, preyed on women he met while on duty from his base at Pilgrim Street police station in Newcastle.
The officer, who is originally from Glasgow, raped and sexually abused heroin addicts, shoplifters and a disabled teenager by offering them help while in custody, then demanding sexual favours afterwards.
During a five-week trial in December, Mitchell claimed that he was the victim of a conspiracy hatched by the criminal underworld, and labelled his accusers liars.
But after nearly a week of deliberation, a jury convicted him of two rapes, three indecent assaults and six counts of misconduct in a public office against seven female victims.
At Newcastle Crown Court, Justice Wilkie told Mitchell, that he was a "ruthless sexual predator" who was a danger to women, and that he had broken the bond of trust that existed between the public and the police.
He said Mitchell would serve at least seven-and-a-half years in jail before being considered for parole.
"Thereafter, you will only be released, if at all, if the parole board has concluded it is safe and in the public interest for you to be released on public licence. That may not be for many years, if for ever," the Scotsman quoted the judge as saying. (ANI)