Pervert soldier faces city rape trial calls

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THE Crown Office was today urged to open a prosecution against an ex-soldier after it emerged he allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl while stationed at an Edinburgh barracks.

Michael Thomson was jailed yesterday in England for a string of sex attacks against children, some as young as four, over nearly 40 years.

It emerged during proceedings that the 65-year-old had been linked to the teenager’s rape in the Capital while he was serving in the city in the mid-1970s.

The attack was reported but no proceedings were taken against him at the time.

English prosecutors said they were unable to try a case for offences committed in Scotland, but left the door open for the Crown Office to reopen the investigation.

Tory justice spokesman David McLetchie today called for the Crown Office to look at mounting a rape prosecution against Thomson in the interests of “justice” for the victim.

Kristina Montgomery, who prosecuted the case against Thomson at Warwick Crown Court, said that he had been a serving soldier at the time of the attack in Edinburgh. Before he allegedly raped her in the city, the girl visited Thomson and his wife at an army base in England, where he forced her to perform a sex act on him, she added.

Mr McLetchie MSP said: “I’m pleased that this man has been jailed. But I certainly believe that he should be held accountable for all his crimes.

“The Crown Office should consider looking at this case to determine whether a prosecution can be made. The victim in this case deserves justice.”

The Crown Office yesterday refused to comment.

Thomson carried out 12 sexual assaults on boys and girls between 1971 and 2009.

He attacked several children when he was in the army while stationed in Scotland, England and Germany.

He was eventually arrested in 2009 when two victims, both aged 14, spoke to each other about the abuse and told their parents.

After a two-week trial, Thomson, of Nuneaton, was found guilty of seven indecent assaults throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

He was also found guilty of five recent charges of sexual activity with a child and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Jailing him at Warwick Crown Court, Judge Paul Farrer described Thomson as a “paedophile in the true sense of the word”.

He told him: “For over 40 years you have acted as a sexual predator. You committed sexual acts against young, vulnerable people who you manipulated.”

Thomson was jailed for an indeterminate sentence and will not be eligible for parole for at least seven years. He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

Thomson met the victim of the alleged rape, an eight-year-old girl, through his wife’s family just before he joined the army in 1969. He assaulted her a number of times in England before being accused of brutally raping her when she was 16 in Edinburgh.

amcewen@edinburghnews.com