Scotland

Extradited OAP John Donnelly jailed for child abuse

Glasgow High Court
Image caption Donnelly was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow

A pensioner who was convicted of child abuse offences after being extradited from Australia has been jailed for four and a half years.

John Donnelly, 74, emigrated to Australia from Scotland 40 years ago.

He abused four girls when he made return trips to Scotland during the 1970s and 80s.

Donnelly was jailed at the High Court in Glasgow after being convicted of the offences following a trial in March.

The crimes had been reported to police in 2006, with the Crown Office then initiating lengthy extradition proceedings to bring Donnelly to trial.

It eventually led to the Australian justice minister granting Donnelly's return to Scotland in 2014.

Donnelly's trial heard he had preyed on the girls during return trips to Scotland between 1978 and 1988.

The abuse occurred at houses in Glasgow and Prestonpans, East Lothian.

One victim told a jury how she was left "terrified" at the hands of Donnelly.

She also recalled seeing Donnelly sneak into a young relative's bedroom before ordering him out.

Another girl was abused by him after he was allowed to stay overnight at the family home.

Passing sentence, judge John Morris QC said Donnelly had once been something of a "hero" to those who had known him.

The judge told the Donnelly that such serious offences meant a jail term had to be imposed.

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