Man raped woman and sexually assaulted young girls over 40 years

A man who repeatedly raped a woman and sexually assault four young girls over a 40-year period has been jailed for nine years.

Robert Clyde, 69, was caught after he raped a woman over a two-day period at his Edinburgh home in January 2011.

At the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday, judge John Beckett sentenced Clyde to a prison sentence despite his claims he could not cope with jail.

The judge said: "You have been convicted of a number of gravely serious offences. You present a serious threat to the public. I must impose a sentence on you that will punish you, protect the public and protect others from you.

"A number of your victims have been substantially affected by your behaviour."

Clyde, from Edinburgh, had pleaded not guilty to the charged but he was found guilty after a trial last month.

During the trial, the court heard how Clyde repeatedly raped his victim, who was in her 30s, in his home in Hay Gardens between January 21, 2011 and January 22. He had brought his victim home before grabbing her, holding her down and repeatedly sexually assaulting her.

The woman reported the rape to police who launched an investigation. They discovered Clyde had targeted a number of other women, all of whom were young children when the abuse took place.

The abuse against his first victim, who is now in her 50s, started in November 1970 when she was ten years old.

In October 1971, Clyde forced another young girl, who is now in her 40s, to perform a sex act on him. He continued to abuse her until January 1980.

Officers also discovered he physically assaulted two young boys over a 16-year period which began in January 1970. One of his male victims was just four years old when Clyde started hitting him with a dog lead.

On Tuesday, defence solicitor advocate Jim Stephenson told the court Clyde maintained his innocence and would struggle to adapt to prison life.

Mr Stephenson said: "There is not much I can usefully add. Mr Clyde still maintains his innocence. He has suffered from poor health. He has suffered three mini strokes and in February 2012 he suffered a blockage of his main artery. He takes various medications for his health.

"Given his age, he will have difficulty coping with a custodial sentence."