Balerno predator targeted play park victim when he was just 12 years old
A sex predator who began offending as a 12-year-old schoolboy was jailed for five years today after committing abuse against two victims.
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Steven Telford, who is now 30, molested his first victim at a play park before assaulting and raping a second girl when he was an older teenager.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Telford who was earlier found guilty of five charges, including two of rape, continued to deny the offending.
A judge told him: "You were found guilty of sexually assaulting two young girls."
Lady Carmichael said that there was no alternative to a custodial sentence for four of the offences he was convicted on.
The judge told him that he would have faced a greater sentence if he had been an adult when he committed the offences..
Lady Carmichael told Telford, who watched the sentencing proceedings via a video link to prison, that she took into account he had learning difficulties.
Telford, formerly of Deanpark Avenue, Balerno, molested his first victim when she was aged 10 between April 1 and May 28 in 2003 after seizing her by her clothing and pulling her to the ground.
The victim, now aged 28, told the court that she had gone to the park with friends when still a primary school pupil.
She said: "We were playing at the park, just as it should be, kids playing."
Her friends ran off when Telford and others turned up before he pulled her down by the back of her hoodie top.
She said: "I ended up on top, my back to his front. I remember his hand going down my trousers."
She told prosecutor William Frain-Bell: "I just remember him saying to me if I tell anybody about it I will be dead."
She said she kicked him and stood up and ran off and went straight to her bedroom when she arrived home.
Telford struck again in 2007 targeting a child who was aged 12 who he went on to abuse and rape. He was 16 when abuse began and it continued until Telford turned 18.
He exposed himself to the victim, touched her and simulated sex with her and attacked her, including during a rape when she was grabbed and lifted onto a wall.
Defence solicitor advocate Ann Ogg said that Telford continued to deny that the offences occurred but realised that he would receive a jail sentence.
Miss Ogg said that because of his age at the time of the offending Telford was a child "in the eyes of the law" when it occurred.
She said that since the offences Telford had no further convictions for sexual matters.
The defence lawyer told the court: "He is now considerably older than when the offences were committed and he has matured since then."
Telford was told that he would be on the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely.
Following the guilty verdict in March, the mother of the second victim told the Edinburgh Evening News: “It was amazing to see him getting taken down in cuffs. It’s been a long time coming. I am absolutely delighted the jury has seen through him. He is a predator.”