A SEXUAL predator who raped a sleeping woman two nights in a row has been jailed for four and a half years.

Liam Eadie, who already has a sexual conviction, was also told his name would remain on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

He claimed he was just "looking for comfort" when he had sex with the woman while she was incapable of giving or withholding consent.

He pulled down her lower clothing and underwear and touched her on the body before rubbing himself against her buttocks and forcing himself on her.

He continued having sex with her after she woke up despite her protests, a court was told.

The 24-year-old appeared for sentence at the High Court in Livingston after earlier pleading guilty to committing the rapes at his home in Tillicoultry, between June 12-14 last year.

Lorenzo Alonzi, defence advocate, said Eadie had had a difficult upbringing which appeared to have left him socially isolated.

"He says he was looking for comfort and that sort of thing," Mr Alonzi said.

He asked the court to take into account the fact that Eadie was only 23 years old at the time of the offence.

Passing sentence, judge Lord Armstrong told Eadie he had pleaded guilty to the rape of a woman he knew on two separate occasions.

He said: "On the first occasion you knew that she was drunk. You got into her bed and raped her while she was asleep.

"In the second incident on the following night you raped her again while she was asleep.

"Information relating to the events has been passed to me, the clear import of which is that your criminal actions have had a devastating impact on her life, the effects of which are still ongoing."

He highlighted that Eadie was already a registered sex offender having been convicted of two sexual offences in 2020.

In addition social workers had assessed him as being at high risk of reoffending.

Lord Armstrong went on: "Rape is a grave crime against which all women should be protected.

"That being so the court will not flinch from making clear such crimes will attract significant prison sentences.

"Given the gravity of the crime of which you now stand convicted I'm satisfied there is no appropriate alternative to a custodial sentence.

"I take into account your age, your relative lack of maturity, your possible vulnerability to negative influences and I recognise that you may have the capacity to change."

He added that if Eadie had been found guilty after trial he would have imposed a prison sentence of six years.

However, because of the public utility afforded by his early plea of guilty he moderated that to a sentence of four years and six months to date from November 18, 2022 when Eadie was remanded in custody.

Eadie was jailed eight months last week for breaching a court order that was given after he sent indecent messages to "paedophile hunters" posing as schoolgirls.

Alloa Sheriff Court was told he believed he was sending the indecent photos and messages to two schoolgirls aged 13 and 14.

Eadie previously admitted that on May 25, 2019, he sent an image of his penis to a person he believed was a young girl.

The 24-year-old also admitted that he sent sexual messages to another person he believed was another girl between May 24-25, 2019.

Eadie had originally been given a community-based disposal but breached that court order.

Defence solicitor Michael Lowrie said those involved were not police officers but "paedophile hunters".