A man who repeatedly raped a woman and sexually assaulted four young girls over a 40 year period was today jailed for nine years.
Robert Clyde, 69, wept as he was led down to the cells to begin his sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh.
The serial sex fiend was snared by police after he repeatedly raped a woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons - over a two day period at his Edinburgh home in January 2011.
Detectives charged with investigating Clyde delved into the Irishman’s past - and uncovered evidence that he started abusing children in November 1970.
Officers also discovered that he also physically assaulted two young boys - who also cannot be identified for legal reasons - over a 16 year period which began in January 1970.
One of his male victims was just four years old when Clyde started hitting him with a dog lead.
Clyde, of Hay Gardens, Edinburgh, pleaded not guilty to the charges - his legal team claimed that the evidence of his victims was unreliable and couldn’t be trusted.
But after a week long trial last month, a jury returned guilty verdicts to a string of rape, sexual assault and assault charges.
Temporary judge John Beckett QC deferred sentence until today in for the court to obtain reports.
But after hearing how Clyde still refused to accept his guilt for the abuse and would struggle to cope with life in jail, judge Beckett decided to send the pensioner to prison.
Judge Beckett added: “You have been convicted of a number of gravely serious offences. You present a serious threat to the public.
“I must impose a sentence on you that will punish you, protect the public and protect others from you.”
During the trial, the court heard how Clyde repeatedly raped his victim - who was in her 30s - in his Hay Gardens home between January 21 2011 and January 22 2011.
The court heard how Clyde lured his vulnerable victim home - he then seized her, held her down and repeatedly sexually assaulted her.
The woman was brave enough to contact the police who then launched an investigation into the man who attacked her.
Officers then discovered that Clyde had then targeted a number of other women- and managed to collect enough evidence to bring him to court to face justice.
All his victims were young children when the abuse took place.
The court heard harrowing accounts from each of Clyde’s victims about what he did to them.
The abuse against his first victim - who is now in her 50s - started in November 1970 when she was aged just 10 years old.
In October 1971, Clyde forced another young girl - who is now in her 40s - to perform a sex act on him.
He continued to abuse her until January 1980.
Today his defence solicitor advocate Jim Stephenson told the court that his client refused to accept that he had abused the children.
Mr Stephenson also said: “There is not much I can usefully add. Mr Clyde still maintains his innocence. He has suffered from poor health. He has suffered three mini strokes and in February 2012 he suffered a blockage of his main artery.
“He takes various medications for his health.
“Given his age, he will have difficulty coping with a custodial sentence.”
However, Judge Beckett told Clyde that he had to be punished for his crimes.
Before sending him to prison, Judge Beckett added: “A number of your victims have been substantially affected by your behaviour.”