A SEX predator who attacked and raped two women was jailed for six years today (Monday) as he continued to deny the crimes.

Connor McNealis carried out his first sexual assaults on a victim in the Broomhouse area of Edinburgh when he was still a teenager before subjecting a second woman to repeated rapes four years later in Paisley, Renfrewshire.

McNealis, 27, formerly of Hamilton Road, Gullane, had denied a series of charges during an earlier trial.

But a judge at the High Court in Edinburgh told him: "You were found guilty after trial of four charges of rape."

Lord Weir said they were "very serious offences" and a sentence of imprisonment was the necessary consequence of the verdict.

The judge acknowledged that McNealis was a first offender who has never previously served a jail sentence and that he was assessed as posing a moderate risk of reoffending.

The court heard that McNealis continued to deny responsibility for the offences.

McNealis attacked and raped his first victim on two separate occasions between May and September in 2016 when he was aged 19.

He then went on to rape the second woman on various occasions in 2020 and 2021 at flats in the Seedhill area of Paisley.

Defence counsel Simon Gilbride said that McNealis had indicated suffering feelings of hopelessness and depression.

But he added: "He is determined to make something of his life, not only for his own sake but for his loved ones."

"He has demonstrated he has a work ethic and that is something that suggests he is capable of becoming a useful member of society."

"He is someone who appears to have been in fairly continuous employment since leaving school," said the defence counsel.

McNealis, who followed the sentencing proceedings via a video link to prison, was told he will be placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.