Pereira jailed for 11 years

A RIDING school owner who helped disabled kids before being unmasked as a dangerous serial sex offender has been jailed for 11 years.

Brazilian Robson Pereira, 50, posed as a respectable member of the community when he ran the Kirkclaugh Stables in Gatehouse of Fleet.

The dad of four was known in the local area as someone who gave free horse and carriage ridges to disabled people.

But on Friday, the High Court in Edinburgh heard how Pereira had a dark secret - he raped two women and sexually assaulted four others during an eight year reign of terror.

Passing sentence, judge Lord Malcolm told Pereira - who is facing deportation back to his homeland at the end of his sentence - that jail was the only option available to him.

He added: “It is clear that you exploited your position as the leader of a riding school and that you abused the trust placed in you as a person of standing in the community.

“It is clear that given the gravity of of the offences to which you have been convicted of, a substantial custodial sentence is justified.”

Pereira, also of Castle Douglas, was convicted last month of the High Court in Glasgow on rape and sexual charges. He targeted his victims between February 2004 and July 2012.

Sentence had been deferred until Friday in order for the court to obtain reports about his character.

During his trial, Pereira’s 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.

For years Pereira got away with the abuse and appeared to be a pillar of the community.

But, after one brave victim finally went to the police an investigation codenamed Operation Topcoat was launched.

All those who had contact with Pereira at the stables were quizzed and the horrific truth came out.

Three of the victims of sexual abuse were young girls who went to the stables because of their love of horses, the fourth victim was a woman who gave him a lift in her car and had her leg rubbed by him.

Throughout his trial at the High Court in Glasgow Pereira claimed that his victims were telling a pack of lies.

He alleged that all the sex was consensual and the women and men who came forward were jealous of his new partner 19-year-old Emily Priddy, who was just 16 when they moved in together.

He also claimed some of the woman were angry over financial deals involving horses and had claimed he cheated them.

In court, he claimed that he had been subjected to a campaign of intimidation and said his car was vandalised, he and his partner were followed in Newton Stewart and had abuse hurled at them.

Pereira also said that he suffered Facebook abuse over false claims he had ill-treated one of his horses.

One woman, a committed Christian who did not believe in sex before marriage said that Pereira raped her when she turned 16.

Another of Pereira’s rape victims returned from the West Indies to give evidence against him and a third woman claimed she was raped by Pereira, but the jury cleared him of the charge.

He was well liked in the area because his business helped disabled people.

A total of 58 people, including MP Russell Brown, wrote to the UK Border Agency on Mr Pereira’s behalf and he was granted permission to stay in Scotland.

On Friday, defence advocate Simon Gilbride told the court that his client believed that he was innocent and hadn’t done anything wrong.

He added: “There is nothing much I can usefully say on his behalf. He accepts a custodial sentence is inevitable. He will face deportation back to his homeland at the conclusion of his sentence.”

Lord Malcolm also told Pereira that he would be placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.