A convicted rapist has had an eight-year ban on being under the influence of alcohol in public lifted after arguing that it had meant he hadn’t even been able to toast his grandfather’s life at the old man’s funeral.

James Kerr Thomson was jailed at the High Court in Stirling in 1996 for a rape committed when he was still 19.

Thomson, a painter and decorator, now 40, and married, was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

In 2000, he was convicted again, and jailed for 12 months, for assaulting his then partner, Stirling University criminal psychologist Zoe Thomson, at a party.

In 2007 and 2008 he was convicted of further incidents involving women - causing a breach of the peace after visiting a woman’s garden uninvited and falling asleep on her sunlounger, and an incident outside Oxfam in Stirling city centre when he grabbed a woman’s mobile phone and placed it out of her reach on top of a bus shelter.

On Tuesday (4 August) Stirling Sheriff Court heard, however, than none of Thomson’s convictions since the original rape had been sexual.

At a lengthy proof hearing, Thomson, described as now living on a council estate in Perth, argued that an interim Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) in place against him since 2007 should not be replaced by a full order.

Police Scotland asked for a full order, including a ban on Thomson being in public after drinking even so much as a single pint of beer, and requiring him to notify the force’s offender management unit of the name and address of any female with whom he forms a relationship.

Representing himself, Thomson told Sheriff William Gilchrist: “I know I’m not an angel but I just want to be able to go out with my wife, have a glass of wine with my meal, and get on with my life.” He added: “I’m not denying I’ve been a bad boy.

“But I’m not a young whippersnapper who downs a bottle of wine and goes off his nut any more.” Thomson, formerly of Stirling, said that the ban had prevented him from even having a drink at the funeral of his grandfather, who had brought him up.

Sheriff Gilchirst imposed a full SOPO, to last five years, but deleted the alcohol ban.

He said: “The index offence (rape) was committed 19 years ago, and Mr Thomson has not been convicted of any sexual offence since that date, although he has a number of convictions that are non-sexual, and a number involving breaches of the [Prevention of Sexual Offences Scotland] Act, principally for being late in notifying change of address.

“He remains subject to the notification requirements of the Act, that are entirely separate from this application, and will remain in place.

“As such he will continue to be of interest to the Offender Management Unit, whether or not a SOPO is made.

“He has been subject to such an Order for many years, since 2007.

“I’m satisfied that at this stage it is not necessary for me to prohibit him from being under the influence of alcohol in a public place. I’m not satisfied that’s necessary to protect members of the public from serious sexual harm.

“However I will make an order requiring him to notify the Offender Management Unit of the name and address of any female - that I think is still appropriate, and will remain in place.” He warned Thomson that the Chief Constable could apply to have the alcohol ban slapped back on at any point - if he fails to co-operate with a planned risk assessment process, or if he commits offences while under the influence of drink.