Former Brad Pitt body double has become the first man in Scotland to be convicted of rape by “stealthing”.
Luke Oscar Ford, 33, has been convicted of rape after he was handed protection by a sexual partner but didn’t use it, then told her to get an abortion if she was pregnant.
The historic case is the first prosecution in Scotland of “stealthing” – removing or not using a condom during sex without a partner’s knowledge.
Campaigners hailed the verdict as a landmark in tackling the under-reported crime.
Ford, 33, was found guilty of 18 charges of abusing seven female partners, including raping five of them, and attempting to rape another.
A trial at Glasgow High Court heard he terrorised the women over a 12-year period – subjecting them to horrendous physical, mental and sexual abuse.
Ford, from Stirling, was a jobbing actor and model, and featured as a stand-in for Brad Pitt on movie World War Z, which was shot in Glasgow in 2013. He also appeared in the video for Deacon Blue’s This Is A Love Song.
The court heard how he targeted successful professional women on dating apps, love bombing them then financially exploiting, controlling and abusing them.
In the stealthing case, he matched the woman, a psychologist, on Tinder in 2017. After a few dates they discussed having sex. She insisted he use protection as she didn’t want to risk pregnancy. He responded, “Good idea”.
When they were in bed, she handed him condoms and was devastated when he later told her he hadn’t used one.
“Stealthing is rape!”
Giving evidence, she said: “I was shocked and upset. I felt completely violated.”
When she confronted him the next day over pregnancy concerns, he dismissed her as “paranoid”, said it was “no big deal” and told her to take a morning-after pill.
He texted: “Just get the pill – and if you’re pregnant, get rid of it.”
Advocate Depute Leanne Cross told the jury Ford’s deception was rape and “showed his complete disregard to the issue of consent”.
Ford, who pled not guilty to charges – forcing victims to give evidence – was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.
Rape Crisis Scotland CEO Sandy Brindley, said: “This landmark case gives a clear message this kind of behaviour is not only unacceptable, it’s criminal.”
Although stealthing is not specified as a crime in Scottish law, the 2009 Sexual Offences Act, states consent to one sexual act does not mean agreement to another.
Ms Brindley added: “Fourteen years on from the Act, this case finally demonstrates that if someone consents to sex, but not to sex without a condom, it’s rape.”
There has only been one successful prosecution of stealthing in the UK, in England in 2019. Michaela Coel’s 2020 TV series I May Destroy You brought the subject into the spotlight after her character became a stealthing victim.
(Source: Daily Record)