A man suspected of raping four women will have been in prison for more than a year before he is tried by a jury, a court heard yesterday.
Alan Rotchford – who faces a total of 26 charges – was refused bail at the High Court in Livingston after it emerged his trial, which had been due to start on Monday, was being postponed until February 17 next year for legal reasons.
Judge Lord Tyre agreed to the delay but said he was not prepared to release Rotchford from custody. He commented: “It is with regret that the trial is going to take place over a year since the accused was first taken into custody.”
Rotchford (33) is charged with raping one complainer twice, indecently assaulting her with a bottle while she was asleep and recording an oral sex session during which she vomited on a mobile phone all at addresses in Edinburgh in 2010.
A second woman accuses him of extorting degrading and sexual images from her and threatening to display them online unless she sent him images of her engaging in sexual activity with herself.
She also accuses him of raping her at an address in Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, drugging her before raping her, raping her a third time and assaulting her with intent to rape her at an address in Armadale, West Lothian in 2016 and 2017.
Rotchford is further charged with stalking the second complainer, sending intimate images of her from her social media account to others without her consent and monitoring her movements and threatening to distribute intimate images of her to her family and work colleagues if she refused to have sex with someone else.
A third woman claims Rotchford drugged her with Diazepam and raped her while she was drunk. The charge alleges that he repeatedly kicked her on the vagina and penetrated her with sex toys while she was incapable of consenting.
He is also charged with wrapping a cord around the woman’s neck before raping her at an address in Bathgate, West Lothian in 2017 or 2018.
The prosecution alleges that Rotchford also extorted sexual images of the third complainer by threats after sending her intimate images of herself on Facebook and inducing her to send him images of her engaging in sexual activity with herself.
The fourth complainer alleges that Rotchford raped her three times, twice while she was asleep and intoxicated with alcohol and medication, at an address in Dalrymple, Ayrshire in 2018.
In addition he is charged with distributing indecent images of a child and behaving in a threatening manner by sending his alleged victim, now aged 22, personal and explicit images of herself.
Rotchford, currently a prisoner at Barlinnie, denies all the charges and has lodged a special defence claiming that the women involved consented to sex with him.