Former King’s Horseman jailed for raping three teens 40 years later

A former King's Horseman and showjumper has been sent to prison for raping three teenagers at a riding school in the 1980s.

James Armour, 57, was convicted of raping the girls while on leave from military service. The victims were aged between 17 and 19 when Armour committed the assaults.

He was finally caught when one of the girls reported her ordeal to Rape Crisis and the police in 2019, prompting a criminal investigation.

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Armour was an Army showjumper and also a bombardier in the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery. His unit is tasked with pulling 13-pounder guns on royal occasions and often takes part in Trooping the Colour.

The judge in the case, Lord Young, said the victims had been left with "real physical and emotional damage".

In his sentencing remarks at Glasgow High Court, he said: “These offences date back to the 1980s when you were a young soldier. All were committed at an equestrian centre and against young female trainees who lived there.

“These rapes followed a pattern. You stayed [there] while on leave and had access to attack the trainees. It is clear the women, despite the passage of many years, found it upsetting to repeat what you had done.”

When asked why she did not report the crime at the time, one of the victims said: "I was scared. I was a naïve young girl and it was the start of my career. If I’d opened up, I would not have had 30 to 40 years with horses. That is what I thought.”

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Another victim said that she consensually kissed Armour before he forced himself on her and raped her.

She said that she “did not think for one moment she would be believed” if she reported the crime at the time.

Armour was added to the sex offenders register upon his conviction. He has been jailed for 10 years.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website,

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