September 2022

Headteacher convicted of rape in Glasgow bids for freedom

A headteacher who was extradited from Spain to face justice for sex crimes against two victims is bidding to have his conviction quashed.  

James Berry was jailed for eight-and-a-half years for repeated indecent assaults and rape during prolonged ordeals of abuse committed in Glasgow and Renfrewshire.  

The 77-year-old has ordered solicitors to lodge documents at the High Court in Edinburgh to try and overturn the verdict against him.  

The pensioner’s legal team will appear before judges today, where legal arguments will be laid out to decide if his conviction for the brutal attacks should be upheld.  

Berry, of Nova Santa Ponsa in Mallorca, denied a string of sex crime charges but was found guilty after a trial at Glasgow High Court in February 2022, of five counts of assault, indecent assault and rape.  

He punched and throttled his first victim in 1963 at addresses in Glasgow, Renfrew and Houston and raped her.  

Berry also subjected a second to horrific sexual abuse, beginning in 1969 when she was just a child. He then went on to rape her at addresses in Glasgow, Renfrew and Houston.  

Berry dismissed one victim’s allegations as part of a ‘criminal conspiracy’ to take over his role at the school where he was working.   

Prosecutors said the oldest of the two victims had been sexually assaulted, punched and grabbed by the throat while the second victim suffered a harrowing ordeal at a Glasgow hotel and during a driving lesson.  

Berry claimed that ‘things had been made up in her imagination’.  

Berry was head teacher at King Richard III College, a private school on the Balearic island where he has lived for 30 years.  

He was brought back to Scotland in 2019 under a European arrest warrant.  

Judge Thomas Welsh QC told Berry that he would have faced a ten-year prison sentence, if not for his age and the passage of time since his crimes.