August 2022

Fife rapist committed sex attacks on women and girls over course of 20 years

A man who abducted a girl moments before raping her in a van in Cowdenbeath has been jailed after being found guilty of subjecting five females to terrifying sexual assaults.

Joseph Lowther, 42, detained one of his victims against her will in his vehicle on an occasion between August 18, 2000 and September 11, 2000.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard the woman say that she was approximately 12-years-old at the time of the incident.

The woman, who is now aged 34, told the court that Lowther pushed her into his van at a location in Cowdenbeath.

He then seized her by the legs and covered her mouth with his hand.

Lowther repeatedly threatened to kill her, before pinning her down and raping her.

Describing the sickening attack, the woman wept as she told prosecution lawyer John Keenan: “I lay there scared. I was in a lot of pain at the time.

“He said to me ‘get your s**t together and get out’.

“He said if I told anyone he would kill me.”

The trial ended yesterday (Wednesday) when jurors convicted Lowther, of Burntisland, on six charges of rape and sexual assault.

His youngest victim was aged just 10-years-old when he preyed on her.

During proceedings, the woman raped by Lowther in his van told jurors of an incident sometime between May 2006 and April 2008.

She said Lowther approached her at another location in Cowdenbeath and sexually assaulted her for a second time.

The woman told the court that she was concerned for her safety and didn’t tell anybody what had happened.

She added: “I didn’t feel strong enough to speak out.”

Police eventually learned about Lowther’s activities and launched an investigation which succeeded in securing enough evidence to bring him to justice.

Officers discovered that he had raped another woman at a caravan site in Moray sometime between May 2009 and December 2010.

He also repeatedly raped her at other locations in Scotland between January 2013 and December 2016.

Between June 1, 2016 and September 3, 2016, Lowther raped another woman at a location near Cowdenbeath whilst she was sleeping and intoxicated and unable to provide consent.

Lowther raped another woman on November 7, 2017 at a house in Cowdenbeath,

He also repeatedly raped a little girl on various occasions between January 1, 2018 and January 18, 2021 at locations in Fife.

The child was aged nine when the abuse began.

Lowther, a carpet fitter who is not a peer and added ‘Lord’ to his name by deed poll, denied any wrongdoing.

After the verdicts were given, the court was told that Lowther had previous convictions for dishonesty, indecent exposure and road traffic offences.

Mr Keenan added: “He is a member of the travelling community and has lived at a number of addresses across the United Kingdom during his life.”

Lord Sandison told Lowther that he’d be remanded in custody until sentencing and that he was calling for reports into his background.

The judge also thanked jurors for their service.

He added: “Evidence of this nature can be quite distressing to hear so I thank all of you for the obvious attention you have given the case.”