An ‘evil’ serial rapist who killed family pets to exert control over women was jailed on Wednesday.
Former bouncer Paul Hill was convicted of 14 serious sexual and violent offences after a jury returned guilty verdicts after less than 90 minutes of deliberation.
During his trial at the High Court at Livingston, jurors heard how Hill drowned a former partner’s pet parakeet, killed another’s tiny kitten, threw a third girlfriend’s cat out of a window, and threatened to harm his own Alsatian bitch when a fourth female told him she was leaving him.
The domestic abuser had denied committing a string of historic sexual and violent offences against former girlfriends in Aberdeen and Dundee over a 22-year period and lodged special defences, saying all sex was consensual.
He also claimed he acted in self-defence when he strangled a 59-year-old grandmother until her face turned purple after drunkenly shouting “I’m a killing machine!” at a Christmas party.
Complainers gave evidence that Hill, 54, was an evil “psycho” who verbally abused, beat, strangled and raped each of them in a similar way. One said he attacked her after she put a CD in his alphabetically sorted collection in the wrong place.
One terrified mum-of-two sobbed as she told how she took her children to her mum’s after she caught Hill having sex with another woman in their bed.
A short time later, she said, she got a phone call from him threatening to kill the family’s 18-year-old pet parakeets if she didn’t return home.
She said: “I didn’t believe him. I stayed at my mum’s. I went home later on that night because I knew he wasn’t in the house.
“The kids went into the house and they saw there was only one bird in the cage. They found the other parrot drowned in the kitchen sink.
“He drowned it, because the sink was filled up with water.”
Charming at first
The 38-year-old said that Hill hit her “more than once a day”. She said he was charming at first but then completely changed.
She told the jury: “He became evil, losing his temper all the time, nasty and drinking. His eyes would glaze over and he looked like he was possessed.”
She said she was repeatedly raped, beaten and abused by Hill. Once, she said, when she failed to cook a steak to his liking, he stabbed her in the back of the hand with a serrated knife leaving a scar.
Another ex-girlfriend told how Hill “destroyed” the Tayside apartment he shared with her after she left him because of his violent behaviour.
She said she returned after a weekend with her parents and her baby daughter to find the apartment wrecked, with paint all over the living room walls, furniture tipped over, and ornaments broken.
She said. “I had a kitten. It was only a little wee kitten. He killed my kitten.
“A black bag had been tipped in the kitchen. [The kitten was] in the kitchen, in amongst all the debris and rubbish on the floor.”
The woman, a 32-year-old B&B manager, said that several times when she’d said ‘no’ to sex Hill grabbed her by the throat and started to strangle her.
She told the jury: “He then had sex with me. Personally I think he got off on it.
“His whole face – his eyes – would change, He was like a completely different person. His eyes would go really dark. He just looked really evil.”
Hill was also convicted of throwing another woman’s cat out of the window of a flat in Kincorth, Aberdeen during an incident in which he allegedly pinned her against the wall by her throat.
Another ex partner said he had thrown burning cushions at her and told her to choose between burning to death, being thrown out of a third-floor window or returning to a party he had been ejected from for being aggressive.
In his closing speech, advocate depute Bernard Arnott reminded jurors of the common themes running through the evidence, including Hill killing or threatening to harm pets to pressure people into complying with his wishes.
He said complainers had spoken of him using similar aggressive and controlling behaviour towards them – cutting them off from friends, verbally abusing them, pulling their hair, strangling them and sexually assaulting them.
Mr Abbott said the jury could conclude that the witnesses were making up their accounts as the defence claimed, or that they were “simply just telling the truth.” The jury decided they were telling the truth.
Hill, of Kings Park Drive, Ayr, was convicted of five rapes involving four women, and nine assaults on eight females – four of the attacks to danger of life.
Judge Lord Mulholland called for background reports and remanded Hill in custody.
Hill, who admitted previous convictions, had his name added to the sex offenders’ register with immediate effect and was remanded in custody.
He will be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on 29 January 2021.