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Inverness man Kim Avis – who is accused of rape – is denied bail at the High Court in Glasgow


By Ali Morrison

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An Inverness man accused of rape had a request for bail refused today.

Kim Avis (56) appeared at the High Court in Glasgow via a video link from prison where he is on remand.

His defence counsel Lorenzo Alonzi argued that Avis should not be kept on remand during a coronavirus pandemic when there is no indication of when a trial can be fixed.

Mr Alonzi said: “He has already been on remand for almost a year and since March has spent 22-and-a-half hours each day locked in his cell.”

Referring to the alleged failure to appear for trial at the High Court in Edinburgh on March 11, 2019, Mr Alonzi said: “It was always his intention to appear for court. He travelled to the [United] States for a holiday and was involved in a distressing incident.

“He went for a swim and was swept out on the current and had great difficulty getting back to shore. He was swept away quite a distance.”

Prosecutor Owen Mullan opposed bail and said: “He is accused of very serious matters.

“When he was reported missing in the US on February 27, last year, after he went in [the sea] for a swim there were media reports he had faked his own death.

“The Crown position is his failure to appear was deliberate.”

Judge Lady Stacey told Avis: “I'm not prepared to grant bail. During this pandemic lots of people are in custody for longer.”

Avis faces 25 charges for offences alleged to have taken place between January 1997 and March 2019, mainly at addresses in Inverness.

The accusations include claims he raped three women. He is also said to have attempted to rape one of them when she was 12.

Avis is further charged with sexually assaulting a girl when she was 11.

Prosecutors also claim he failed to appear at court “without reasonable excuse”.

Avis denies all the charges against him.

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