Man convicted of child rapes also attacked four-year-old boy

Michael Buchanan attacked a total of 12 children during a 21-year campaign of abuse.

Man convicted of child rapes also attacked four-year-old boy SNS Group

A man who was jailed for attacking 11 children during a 21-year campaign of sex abuse is facing a possible life sentence after another young victim came forward. 

Michael Buchanan was given a nine year prison sentence in January 2017 for rape and indecent practices. 

However, judge Lord Beckett heard at the High Court in Edinburgh last year how another victim came forward after the 51-year-old was jailed. 

During that hearing prosecutor Adrian Stalker said the man told officers how Buchanan subjected him to a series of sexual assaults at a location in Edinburgh.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said the abuse began in 1990 when he was aged four years old and continued for three years. 

And he told police how Buchanan’s behaviour has caused him to have life long trauma. 

Mr Stalker said: “The complainer has stated that the abuse has had a profound effect on his mental health. 

“He has expressed anger at what has been done to him.”

The story emerged after Buchanan, originally of Wester Hailes, Edinburgh, pleaded guilty to a charge of subjecting the man to a series of lewd and libidinous practices against between May 1990 and May 1993. 

Lord Beckett deferred sentence for the court to obtain reports on Buchanan’s background.

On Monday, Lord Beckett said the report, which was written by court appointed social worker, contained “concerning information” about Buchanan’s attitudes towards offending. 

Lord Beckett told Buchanan, who observed proceedings via video link, that he was going to further defer sentence to obtain a risk assessment report. 

Buchanan heard that such a report will inform Lord Beckett on whether he should impose an Order for Lifelong Restriction – this means Buchanan would only be released when the parole board considers he no longer poses a risk to public safety. 

Lord Beckett said: “There is also some concerning information in the social work report which may bear on the question of the risk that you present to the public still. 

“I am concerned to ensure that the public is protected from serious harm from you on your release. 

“Having considered a very detailed report, it does appear to me that the nature and circumstances of the offences to which you pleaded guilty to, and given you have previous convictions for similar conduct, it may demonstrate that there is a likelihood that if at liberty you will seriously endanger the physical and psychological well being of members of the public at large.”

At proceedings in 2017, a judge at the High Court in Glasgow heard how Buchanan’s campaign of physical and sexual violence spanned between 1982 and 2003.

He preyed on his mostly young victims at a number of addresses in Edinburgh – mainly in the Wester Hailes area.

A six-year-old boy was first targeted before Buchanan molested a ten-year-old girl as she slept.

Around 1991, he then abused a nine year-old girl in her bedroom.

The court heard this involved him pinning down the frightened child, who tried to fight him off.

She managed to escape his clutches, but it was years later, when she was aged around 12, before she told a friend what happened.

The youngster then went to police in May 1993. But no action was taken against Buchanan and the victim tragically committed suicide in 1998.

Buchanan meantime subjected another girl to a horrendous ordeal. He abused her for four years from the age of ten.

Buchanan eventually raped the girl when she was 13 – including a time when he tied her to a radiator.

Her ordeal ended when she was 14.

His next young victim was first attacked after he gave her 20p.

The child, who was aged between six and ten, was abused at a canal after Buchanan claimed they were going “fishing”.

Buchanan went on to molest a six year-old boy and then attacked two girls who had gone to his home.

The paedophile then raped a six year-old girl while supposedly babysitting her.

His final victim was regularly abused when she was between the ages of nine and 13.

Advocate depute Mr Stalker told Lord Beckett last year how the man came forward to the police following Buchanan’s convictions.

He added: “The allegations came to light after the investigation into the accused’s offending.”

On Monday, defence advocate Niall McCluskey told Lord Beckett that his client accepted responsibility for his actions. 

He added: “He adheres to his previously tendered plea. He accepts responsibility for his offences.”

Lord Beckett told Buchanan that the newly commissioned report would help him conclude what sentence to impose on him. 

He added: “All sentencing options which are competently open to me will remain open to me. 

“There is some concerning information contained in the social work report. 

“I’m not prepared to prematurely on a hunch or a sense of fairness prepared to ignore the requirement imposed upon me by Parliament when I consider that the risk criteria may be met.

“I need to give careful consideration to how the public is protected against the serious risk of harm which you appear to represent.”

Buchanan will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on April 8. 

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