A treesurgeon who carried out years of abuse against four women has been jailed.
Mark McLeod, 39, was handed a jail term of 17 years and nine months after his conviction on charges of rape, assault, abduction and animal cruelty.
McLeod, from Dundee, was found guilty on 15 counts after a 10-day trial at the High Court in Edinburgh in May.
He claimed his victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had lied and he did nothing wrong, but jurors rejected this after a day of deliberation.
He had previously been locked up for violent assaults and his criminal record ran to four pages.
Jurors heard McLeod preyed on his victims at addresses in Dundee and Angus.
His first victim was aged 16 when he started abusing her in November 1999.
The court heard how McLeod repeatedly beat and raped the woman.
In May 2004, McLeod started abusing another woman who was 22. He raped and assaulted the woman until June the following year. In one incident, McLeod assaulted the female by holding a knife to her body.
Between January 2009 and January 2010, McLeod assaulted another 37-year-old woman at a house in Forfar.
The jury also heard that between October 2010 and December 2015, McLeod carried out physical and sexual assaults against a woman who is now 25.
He also kicked and struck dogs during that time, the court heard.
Detective Inspector Muriel Fuller of the Domestic Abuse Task Force, welcomed his prison term.
She said: “Mark McLeod is a violent and controlling individual. He offended over a period of 18 years against multiple victims committing acts of rape, assault and abduction against them.
“He is clearly dangerous and has, over a number of years, committed serious, violent offences which until now have gone unpunished.
“With this sentence McLeod must face the consequences of his actions.
“His conviction sends out a clear message that these types of crimes will be robustly investigated by Police Scotland.
“We would take this opportunity to reach out to anyone who is experiencing or has experienced abuse – it is never too late to report to the police or seek support and advice from one of our partner agencies such as Women’s Aid.”