A man has admitted to abducting an 11-year-old girl while dressed as a woman before sexually assaulting her at his home in the Borders.
Andrew George Miller, from Melrose, pled guilty to four charges at Edinburgh High Court on Thursday.
As well as sexual assault and abduction, the 53-year-old admitted to possessing indecent photographs of children and intentionally causing a child under 13 to look at a sexual image.
Miller had taken the girl to his home and subjected her to a series of sexual assaults over the course of 27 hours. He kept her in a bedroom and wouldn’t let her leave.
The court heard that when Miller was sleeping, the child phoned 999.
The court was told that Miller was in the process of transitioning to female but chose to be identified by his birth name.
On social media, Miller also goes by Amy George and described himself as the owner of the Millers of Melrose butchers.
The family business was featured in JK Rowling’s 2015 crime novel Career of Evil under her pen name Robert Galbraith.
A window display in the butchershop featured a copy of the book alongside a photograph of the author and an excerpt.
The court heard how the schoolgirl was walking along Melrose Road in Galashiels on Sunday, February 5, when Miller stopped his Jaguar car and offered her a lift home.
He was dressed as a woman and child thought he was “non-threatening” so she accepted his offer.
“The ‘lady’ said her name was Amy George and asked if she was ok,” Prosecutor Lorraine Glancy KC told the court.
“The victim stated she was cold, ‘Amy’ offered her a lift and the child entered the passenger side of the car.
“In the car the accused asked the victim how her day had been, and they chatted.
“As the vehicle drove past the area of her home, the child reminded the accused that that was where her house was, but the accused stated that he needed to pop home to drop something off and he would return her home thereafter.”
Miller confined the girl to a bedroom and repeatedly sexually assaulted her. She asked him to be allowed to go home, the accused told her he would return her the following morning.
The victim remained confined to the bedroom for the majority of the time, Ms Glancy said, and Miller slept in bed alongside her. She had to knock on the door to be allowed to leave.
“On the second night, the accused had fallen asleep in the bed beside the child when she knocked over a glass of water to see if it would rouse him – it did not,” Ms Glancy told the court.
“She then turned on the bedroom light to see if that would disturb the accused – it did not.
“She then attempted to escape the locus but was unable to open the front door which was locked with a key which had been removed.
“She did, however, find the landline phone which she used to call 999.
“The 999 call was recorded. The child’s obvious fear and distress is palpable as she describes to the operator what has happened to her and her concern to be located.
“Her relief upon hearing the police at the door to rescue her is obvious.
“She remained in the utility room until police arrived to rescue her and arrest the accused.”
Ms Glancy told the court police arrived at Miller’s home at 9.35pm on February 6. Officers made their way to the rear of the property and saw the child who opened a rear door and told them them the accused was in the bedroom.
Police entered and arrested Miller.
A police cordon was set up around his home in Gattonside, a small village east of Galashiels on the opposite side of the River Tweed to Melrose.
Miller made a statement to police describing what had happened saying the girl had been freezing when he saw her and that he did not abduct her.
He said he had been watching rugby and gave her a lift as it was a “motherly thing”.
“She sat in the bedroom and watched DVDs,” he said.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t want to take her home. I just didn’t know what people would think. Then I saw on the news that she was reported missing, and I thought oh for f**k’s sake, this is getting worse by the minute.
“I didn’t know what to do as I didn’t want to get caught.”
Miller appeared at court via video link from prison on Thursday.
Addressing him, judge Lord Arthurson said: “Your actions represent abhorrent crimes of the utmost depravity and criminality. Your actions in this case are the realisation of every parent’s worst nightmare.”
He was remanded in custody and will appear for sentencing on August 15.