Former Downing Street aide jailed for raping second woman

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A former Downing Street aide has been jailed for seven years for raping a young woman during the Edinburgh Festival.

Mark Adams, who worked under John Major and Tony Blair, attacked the 19-year-old as she made her way home in the Scots capital in August 2017.

The ex-civil servant, 56, was convicted at the High Court in Edinburgh last month. He had previously been jailed for raping a woman in London in 2015.

At the High Court in Glasgow on Tuesday, Adams was given another seven year sentence to match that handed down at Woolwich Crown Court in January.

He has a further previous conviction for sexual assault.

Lord Armstrong said: “You have been convicted of the rape during the Edinburgh Festival in 2017 of a young woman who was vulnerable and made the mistake of accepting your offer of assistance.

“You took advantage of her in a calculating and manipulative manner when she was alone and making her way home on the streets of Edinburgh.”

The victim’s impact statement “makes it very clear that your actions have had a devastating and continuing detrimental effect on the quality of her life”, the judge said.

He told Adams: “The crime of rape is a grave crime against which all women should be protected.”

Adams’ website describes him as an “independent political consultant, media commentator and general business adviser”.

It states he spent almost six years in 10 Downing Street, first under John Major, then under Tony Blair, and in 1997 was awarded the OBE.

Adams’ defence counsel, Gary Allan QC, said: “This is a man who in the past has given great service to the community, both professionally and personally.”

He added: “It’s all the more of a tragedy that there has been a seismic change in his position so far as regard where his good character is concerned.

“He has fallen down, he’s very ashamed, he’s very remorseful.”

Lord Armstrong noted that he had taken steps towards rehabilitation.

Detective Inspector Kevin Harkins of Police Scotland said:  “Adams is an arrogant man who preyed upon a woman as she walked home.

“He is a highly opportunistic offender who has no regard for those he attacks.

“I would like to commend the victim in this case for her courage and I hope that after today’s sentencing, she is now able to move on from this horrendous ordeal.”

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