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Rapist targeted girl, four, during decades of abuse

Judge praises Stephen Craig's victims while slamming social work report.

Stephen Craig: The 52-year-old was jailed on Friday.
Stephen Craig: The 52-year-old was jailed on Friday. Police Scotland/SWNS

A sex offender tried to rape a four-year-old girl during an "appalling catalogue" of abuse.

Stephen Craig also held a knife to the neck of a woman he repeatedly raped over the course of 24 years.

He was previously found guilty of abusing three young girls during the same period.

The 52-year-old was jailed for 12 years on Friday at the High Court in Edinburgh after he was previously found guilty of the sex crimes at various addresses in Stirling and Glasgow.

Judge Norman Ritchie QC told Craig: "You have been convicted of a truly appalling catalogue of crimes of violence and sexual abuse."

The judge praised Craig's victims for coming forward and told him: "The impact of your criminality on them has been profound and long-lasting.

"The risk assessment in the social work report states that you are at low risk of reoffending - I do not accept that.

"In fact the accuracy of that assessment is contradicted by the suggestion in the report that you need to be closely monitored after your release.

"Any reasonable person would accept that you present a risk."

'The risk assessment in the social work report states that you are at low risk of reoffending - I do not accept that.'
Judge Norman Ritchie QC

The court heard during a trial that Craig repeatedly raped a woman over many years.

His attacks included constant derogatory name calling, placing a knife at her throat and threatening to kill her. 

The offences were committed between 1987 and 2011.

Defence QC Frances McMenamin told the court: "My client's position remains the same as it was at trial. He continues to deny these offences."

Detective Constable Laura Robb, who led the investigation, welcomed the sentence.

She said: "Today's sentence will hopefully give the victims some form of closure. I would like to thank each of them for coming forward and having the strength to report an appalling catalogue of sexual abuse by Stephen Craig.

"Craig will now be spending a considerable amount of time in prison, having failed to accept and admit the suffering he caused and forcing the five women to recount again what happened to them."

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