Sex attacker who raped Scottish schoolgirl, 13, jailed for six years

A burly sex attacker who raped a 13-year-old schoolgirl after drinking heavily was jailed today for six years for his “vile and abhorrent” crime.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 11:48 am
Updated Thursday, 24th January 2019, 11:54 am
The High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson/JP

Binge drinker John Turnbull, 47, who had consumed a potentially lethal quantity of alcohol for some people, assaulted the girl at a house in Edinburgh where she was visiting.

A judge told the former van driver that he had pled guilty to “a very serious sexual offence”.

Lord Woolman said: “I shall not rehearse the circumstances. It is enough to say what you did was vile and abhorrent.”

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The judge added: “Your crime has had traumatic and lasting consequences for the teenage victim. Her mother described it in a victim impact statement as a life sentence.”

Lord Woolman told Turnbull that he would have jailed him for nine years for the offence if he was convicted after trial, but the sentence would be reduced following his earlier guilty plea.

During the attack the victim asked Turnbull to stop but he ignored her and lay on top of her before raping her.

Advocate depute Maryam Labaki told the High Court in Edinburgh: “She was trying to get up but due to the size of the accused, who is six foot and weighs around 20 stone, was unable to get out from under him.”

The girl was constantly struggling with her attacker and telling him ‘no’ and managed to free an arm and elbowed him on the stomach, resulting in him rolling over.

She then managed to get up and ran out of the house as she was scared he would try and attack her again.

She ran to a relative’s house and banged on the door and revealed what had happened to her before police were called.

The prosecutor said police constables arrived and found the girl very upset. She added: “She was crying, visibly shaking and hyperventilating.”

Other officers went to the house where the rape occurred and found Turnbull sleeping in the property.

The court heard that the van driver, of Auchtubh, Lochearnhead, in Perthshire, had consumed a “vast amount” of alcohol prior to the attack on the girl.

The girl was medically examined after the attack and found to have injuries consistent with her account of what happened. DNA also linked Turnbull to the crime.

Turnbull earlier admitted lying on top of the girl preventing her getting up and molesting and raping her on April 29 last year.

Defence counsel Lorraine Glancy said of Turnbull: “He had an uneventful but pro-social life until he committed this, what can only be described as, horrific offence.”

She said Turnbull had consumed “an amount of alcohol that would be potentially lethal for some people” but he was able to remain conscious.

“It is that amount of alcohol that he attributes to his inability to recall what happened that night. His position is that he has no memory whatsoever of the attack,” she said.

Miss Glancy said Turnbull maintained that his first memory was of being woken by the police when they attended the premises.

She said that Turnbull said he has not drank since the date of the offence and following his remand in custody last month he has joined a group in prison working to tackle addiction issues.

“He acknowledges that his interaction with alcohol has the potential to remain problematic for the rest of his life,” she said.

Turnbull was placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

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