Riding centre owner found guilty of multiple rapes and abuse

A well-known horse riding instructor from Kirkclaugh has been found guilty of two counts of rape and four of sexual abuse.

Robson Pereira, 50, from Kirkclaugh near Gatehouse appeared in Glasgow’s High Court on Monday to stand trial and now faces being deported after serving a jail sentence.

His victims described his behaviour to them as disgusting, creepy, intimidating and inappropriate.

The charges he was convicted of ranged from inappropriately touching a woman by rubbing her leg to rape, some dating back to 2002.

A third rape against a 36-year-old woman was found not proven.

The father of four was also cleared of a charge of male rape and sexually abusing another 10 teenage girls and women.

After one victim finally went to the police an investigation codenamed Operation Topcoat was initiated. All those who had contact with Pereira at the stables were quizzed.

Three of the victims of sexual abuse were young girls who went to the stables because of their love of horses.

Throughout his trial, he alleged that all the sex was consensual and the women and men who came forward were jealous of his new partner.

In court, he claimed that he had been subjected to a campaign of intimidation and said his car was vandalised, he had been followed and been victims of verbal abuse in Newton Stewart. He also said he suffered Facebook abuse over false claims he had ill-treated one of his horses.

One woman, a committed Christian, said he repeatedly raped her from her 16th birthday until the spring of 2012 and added: “He took my virginity. I felt violated.”

In evidence at the trial Pereira said: “I never did anything inappropriate. It never happened. I have been in Scotland for 15 years and I ran a very successful business.

Another of Pereira’s rape victims returned from the West Indies to give evidence against him.

She said: “Initially he was like Prince Charming, but then he changed.”

Pereira was remanded in custody to await sentence.