Child rapist Aaron Ross avoids jail

Aaron Ross. Picture: Lesley Donald
Aaron Ross. Picture: Lesley Donald
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A TEENAGER who avoided jail for raping a drunken 12-year-old girl has been banned from being with any female under 16 except his younger sister.

Aaron Ross was 14 when he pounced on the victim in Musselburgh and subjected her to a sickening ordeal.

Aaron Ross was ordered to be put under supervision for three years at Edinburgh High court. Picture: Bill Henry

Aaron Ross was ordered to be put under supervision for three years at Edinburgh High court. Picture: Bill Henry

Ten days earlier, the teenager – who turned 16 last month – indecently assaulted a 13-year-old girl at a primary school in the East Lothian town.

Ross appeared for sentencing at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday when judge Lady Clark ordered him to be supervised by the authorities for three years.

The judge made an order in which Ross’ younger sister is the only female under 16 with whom he can be in the company. Ross will have to attend court on April 16 so that his compliance with the ban can be assessed.

Ross was also ordered to attend a therapy course called the Good Lives Project for three years. The scheme is designed to help offenders understand their behaviour.

The judge said that Ross had caused his victims “serious distress”, but added that the law said she had to consider an alternative to custody for under-21s. She said: “You should not be under any illusions – the community payback order is a punishment for the crimes that you have been convicted of.”

Lady Clark said that court-ordered reports showed that Ross was not suitable to be detained in custody amid fears he could become a hardened criminal through associating with convicts.

The report also highlighted his struggle to appreciate the seriousness of his offending.

Following yesterday’s sentencing, Tory Scottish justice spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell said: “The key here is supervision – after all these were offences where everyone involved was a minor.

“The judge was in possession of all the facts, and as such was best placed to make a decision on this case. It’s essential this individual’s behaviour is now monitored extremely closely to ensure no such incidents occur again.”

Ross, of Musselburgh, was convicted of sexual assault and rape following a trial last year. The court heard how Ross targeted his first victim in the grounds of the town’s Pinkie Primary School on August 1 last year.

The perverted teen seized the 13-year-old – who cannot be named for legal reasons – by the arm and forced her to sit on his knee before assaulting her.

On August 10, Ross raped the 12-year-old victim.

Ross – who had a job at Musselburgh racecourse – admitted to having sex with the girl but claimed it was consensual. The court heard that the girl was crying after the attack, but Ross denied that her tears had been caused by his actions.

His defence solicitor, advocate Robert More, told the court that his client was “immature” regarding sexual matters.

Mr More told Lady Clark that Ross’s mental age was younger than his actual age, and that he had been assaulted by vigilantes after his conviction.