Pensioner jailed for sexually abusing girls three decades ago

Colin Roberts, 76, subjected the vulnerable children to violence and sexual abuse between 1976 and 1987.

Pensioner jailed for sexually abusing girls three decades ago STV News

A pensioner who subjected two girls to violence and sexual abuse more than three decades ago has been jailed for five years.

Colin Roberts assaulted the vulnerable children and carried out acts of indecency at a house in a Highland village.

A judge told the 76-year-old at the High Court in Edinburgh that he had treated the victims “cruelly”.

Judge Norman McFadyen said: “You subjected them both to deeply unpleasant violence. Your violence appeared to have something of a casual ring to it.”

He told Roberts that worse still he had subjected one of the girls to sexual abuse from a young age.

The judge told him: “I am satisfied that only a custodial sentence is appropriate given the grave nature of these charges.”

Roberts, of Ballachulish, had earlier denied a series of charges during a four-day trial, but was found guilty of two offences of assault and two of indecent conduct between 1976 and 1987.   

One child was threatened and struck from the age of four and later molested by the former rail worker who exposed himself to her.

The other girl was lifted up and thrown across a room and against a door and had her head struck on a table. Roberts also exposed himself to her on one occasion.

Defence solicitor advocate Alan Gravelle said there was no offending by Roberts before the crimes and he had remained free of further offending following the crimes against the children.

He said Roberts was “someone of good character” with a stable life and good employment record.

Mr Gravelle said: “The likelihood of any re-offending so far as he is concerned is low.”

Roberts was placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

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