Pervert fled home after grooming and raping girl aged 12

Martin Roper was caught at his dad's home.

Martin Roper was caught at his dad's home.

A PAEDOPHILE who groomed and raped a 12-year-old girl – then abandoned her fearing she was pregnant – is behind bars today.

Martin Roper, 36, fled to England from his Ormiston home, East Lothian, after giving the girl £60 to buy the morning-after pill.

Police eventually caught up with him at his father’s house south of the border. He was jailed for four years and ten months yesterday at the High Court in Glasgow.

The court heard how Roper befriended the girl on Facebook. He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Judge Lord Burns told Roper: “When you were 35 you began a relationship with this girl who was 11. You must have known what age she was.

“You raped her on two occasions in your own home. You must have known that she was far too young to give consent.

“This was a carefully planned grooming of this girl which was methodically pursued. When you thought she was pregnant you abandoned her and fled to England.”

Lord Burns ordered Roper, who is deemed to be at a high risk of causing harm to young girls, to be monitored in the community for three years after his release from jail.

As he was led away to begin his sentence, a woman screamed “b******” at Roper.

Prosecutor Alan Cameron said: “In July 2015 the complainer and the accused became friends on Facebook. They began to exchange 
messages regularly through both Facebook and Snapchat.

“In January 2016 they were exchanging messages indicating they loved each other. She sent pictures of herself in her underwear to the accused. He sent her pictures of his body.”

In January they began meeting at his home and in February he raped the 12-year-old twice – the second time on February 16 last year.

On this second occasion the accused had no condoms and the following day he picked her up in his car and they agreed to go to a chemist for the morning-after pill.

She went in alone with £60 given to her by Roper and said she’d had sex the previous night with a boy she knew who was 12 or 13.

The member of staff she spoke to was so concerned she contacted the girl’s GP who said the police would have to be contacted.

When the girl heard that she began to cry and asked if it could be done another day and wanted to go home.

When she went outside she discovered Roper had driven off. She then returned to the pharmacy and waited until police arrived.

She sent him a number of messages, but he did not reply.

Eventually the girl confessed what had happened to her mother and the police were called again.

Roper’s solicitor advocate Simon Whyte told the court his client suffered from bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

He added: “He has a lack of insight into his offending behaviour.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com