A judge said on Monday he regarded it “as a scandal” that for more than two years a rapist was allowed to remain at liberty without restriction before he was brought to court.

Ian Burton had been arrested and interviewed within a week of offences in May 2017 and Judge Timothy Petts said police had written to him admitting that the case had taken too long “but referred to a lack of resources to deal with such matters.”

Judge Petts said at Caernarfon crown court that not only had the accused Ian Burton, 42, of Ffordd Carneddau, Bethesda been in a state of uncertainly for two years but his two women victims were in limbo.

He was jailed for seven and a half years after a jury had found him guilty of sexual assault and rape. The judge said it happened after drinking and taking drugs. “It’s clear you are a sexual predator who on successive days behaved in a disgusting manner towards two women,” he added.

Elen Owen, defending, said it happened almost three years ago and Burton had acted out of character in “a complete aberration.” At the time he’d led a chaotic and hedonistic lifestyle.

Mark Connor, prosecuting, read victim impact statement from both women saying how it had affected their lives. One said she was receiving counselling for anxiety, the other that she had been “violated and abused” in an event that changed her life.

Restraining orders were granted which bans Burton from future contact with them.