Paedophile jailed for 6 years after failed suicide

Manfred Edgar tried to suicide at St Leonard's Police station. Picture: Toby Williams
Manfred Edgar tried to suicide at St Leonard's Police station. Picture: Toby Williams
Have your say

A PAEDOPHILE who confessed to his crimes during a failed suicide attempt in a police station has been jailed for six years.

Manfred Edgar, 65, shouted “it’s all true what they say about me” moments after he slashed his wrists in the detention area of Edinburgh’s St Leonard’s Police station.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Edgar tried to take his life on July 28 2015.

The court heard how officers had detained Edgar earlier in the day in connection with historical sex offences against two little girls.

On Tuesday, judge Lord Boyd told Edgar that he had no other option but to send him to prison.

He added: “These are serious offences.”

The story emerged following a hearing last month in which Edgar, a prisoner of HMP Saughton, pleaded guilty to two charges of abusing two young girls between January 1991 and June 2008.

Prosecution lawyer Bill McVicar told judge Lord Boyd about Edgar’s conduct after officers arrested him at his home in the Scottish capital.

Edgar, a retired courier, sat in the dock crying as Mr McVicar told the court about the crimes committed by the accused.

Detectives were wanting to interview him in connection with the then abuse allegations which took place at various locations in Edinburgh.

The advocate depute said: “While he was in police custody, the accused attempted to commit suicide within a cell at St Leonard’s Police Station by cutting his wrists.

“He said to the officer who entered his cell ‘my life is over, I want to die.’.

“He further said as first aid was given ‘it’s all true what they say about me. I don’t want to live anymore,’ and that he ‘had abused the trust in the worst possible way’ and ‘it’s all over.’

“Around 1900 hours that day he was seen by a police custody nurse within the cells complex and he was deemed fit for interview.

“In the subsequent interview under caution just over an hour later the accused spoke throughout the interview admitting the offences put to him and made numerous references to committing suicide following his release from custody.

“A full suicide and welfare survey was carried out with the accused. He made numerous remarks referring to committing suicide and said that he did not want to go back out into the world.

“The accused was thereafter held in police custody to appear in court.”

Mr McVicar told the court that Edgar targeted his first victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, when she was just four years old in 1991. He repeatedly abused her until she turned 11.

Edgar’s second victim - who also cannot be identified - was first targeted in June 2003 when she was aged just four. She was repeatedly sexually assaulted until she was nine years old.

The court heard how Edgar was arrested after his victims plucked up enough courage to speak to the police earlier this year.

He was taken into custody by police and charged.

Edgar pleaded guilty to the offences at the earliest possible opportunity.

On Tuesday, defence solicitor advocate Stuart Carson told the court that hie client’s conduct was “appalling” and that his client was sorry.

He added: “He was very anxious to have the matter resolved at the earliest opportunity so his victims wouldn’t need to give evidence.”