A MAN who molested a little girl and subjected a schoolboy to an ordeal of sexual abuse has been jailed for five years.
Faraz Ali raped the five-year-old girl at a house in Edinburgh on one occasion in 2013 after taking off her clothes and carrying out a sex act.
Ali, 27, also sexually assaulted the boy when he was aged under 10 at addresses in Midlothian and East Lothian.
The sexual assaults on the boy, who was threatened with violence to prevent him telling anyone, occurred on various occasions up to 2013.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Ali continued to maintain he was innocent of the sex crimes.
But a judge told him: “You have been convicted of two very serious sexual offences against young children, one male, one female.”
Lord Glennie pointed out that both victims were vulnerable.
The judge said: “I know you continue to deny the charges against you. That is your right. But I must sentence you on the basis that the jury found you guilty.”
Lord Glennie told Ali, formerly of Holytown, in Lanarkshire, that a custodial sentence was inevitable for such offending as punishment, for the protection of the public and to “send out a message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated”.
The judge told the first offender that he had noted his previous good character. He added that he took account that Ali has co-operated with the police in further investigations.
Defence counsel Wendy Hay said that there had been “developments” since earlier proceedings over further allegations and he had assisted. She said there was an ongoing investigation.
She said Ali had previously been studying for a degree in pharmacology but had been afflicted by depression.
She said he was “frankly devastated” at the situation he found himself in appearing before the judge for sentencing.
Ali was placed on the sex offenders’ register.