Man asked woman for topless pictures as child he tried to murder lay critically ill
A depraved bully tried to get a woman to send him topless pictures as a child he attempted to murder in West Lothian lay in a critical condition in hospital.
William McArthur inflicted numerous injuries on the four-year-old victim of the murder bid and sexually abused her during a catalogue of crimes against women and children.
McArthur, 35, also raped a woman and a teenager and sexually assaulted another woman and committed acts of violence against three children.
His youngest victim, the four-year-old girl, suffered significant injuries to her head and body, including an injury which one doctor said he had never seen before in his career.
A jury was shown pictures of the little murder victim lying sedated and intubated in hospital following the horrific assaults on her.
A judge told McArthur that the crimes he committed against the four-year-old were ones of “unspeakable evil”.
Lord Uist told him: “It is clear that you are a serious danger to women and children.”
He said the former West Lothian college student’s criminal responsibility was made worse by his record of committing domestic assaults which earned him a 27-month prison sentence in 2015.
The Crown made a motion to the court seeking that a full risk assessment order should be made on McArthur which can result in an Order for Lifelong Restriction being made on the offender.
The judge said he would seek a background report and psychological assessment on McArthur before addressing the Crown motion.
He told McArthur that whatever form his ultimate sentence took “you can expect to spend many years in prison”.
Lord Uist told jurors that they had to deal with a “most distasteful and distressing case,” adding: “This is not a case anyone would have volunteered to become involved in.”
Following the conviction, Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Thacker of Forth Valley’s Public Protection Unit, said: “McArthur is a depraved individual who perpetrated a catalogue of serious physical and sexual violence against women and children.
“He is undoubtedly a danger and we welcome his conviction. The Public Protection Unit is absolutely committed to bringing perpetrators of such despicable crimes to justice, and we will continue to work tirelessly to do so.
“Anyone with information or concerns that someone may be a victim of physical or sexual abuse is urged to contact Police Scotland via 101, or report this anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, as soon as possible.”
McArthur had denied a series of charges during his trial at the High Court in Edinburgh but was convicted of nine crimes.
He was found guilty of assaulting and raping a 29-year-old woman in June and July 2014 at a village near Dumfries.
He was also convicted of attacking a six-year-old girl in 2014 at a caravan in the village by threatening her with violence and brandishing a knife at her.
McArthur was also found guilty of raping a 14-year-old girl at a house in Grangemouth, in Stirlingshire, after she had been drinking and was sick in November last year. He also attacked the teenager the following month.
In the murder bid on the four-year-old girl he assaulted her on various occasions between October last year and January this year,
The offence occurred at a house in Grangemouth and at McArthur’s home address at Birkenshaw Way, Armadale, in West Lothian.
He also sexually assaulted the child during the same period.
McArthur was also convicted of sexually assaulting a 40-year-old woman at an address in Grangemouth who was asleep when he first began the attack in December last year.
And he admitted two charges of stalking young mothers he met through the Badoo dating website before his trial began. One 28-year-old was bombarded with messages from him and repeatedly asked him to leave her alone.
He asked the woman, who found his behaviour creepy and intimidating, for pictures of her daughter.
He also bombarded a 21-year-old mother with messages and became abusive and aggressive towards her.
During the trial, prosecutor Jo McDonald told the jury that McArthur was aware that the four-year-old was on life support and was going to be transferred from Forth Valley Royal Hospital at Larbert, in Stirlingshire, to the sick kids hospital in Edinburgh but was texting a female acquaintance asking her to send “a picture of her t**s”.
McArthur had on occasions taken the youngster to the toilet and also claimed that she had suffered falls. He would tell the child’s mother that she needed a break while he attended to the little girl.
The woman said that at one stage she wanted to take her to the doctor but McArthur, who told her he was a first aider, convinced her that she would be okay and that he knew what he was talking about.
She said that McArthur also put make-up on the little girl’s bruised face to cover up injuries.
The child’s grandmother met him once and had an argument with him. She told the court: “He was a bully.”
McArthur was put on the sex offenders’ register and remanded in custody.
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