Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Pensioner jailed for abusing girls in Dunfermline

A pensioner who sexually assaulted four girls over a 22-year period has been jailed for seven years.

John Ridgway, 75, from Dunfermline, started abusing his first victim - who cannot be named for legal reasons - in April 1974 when she was just eight.

The retired lorry driver continued to sexually assault the young girl until April 1981. He had denied the charges.

The court heard how Ridgway then abused another three children. He was found guilty of eight sexual assault charges.

His offences stopped in October 1996 when his victims spoke to the police.

At the High Court in Glasgow Judge John Morris put Ridgway on the sex offenders' register and told him: "The jury convicted you of a series of sex offences against young girls."

The court heard he started abusing his first victim at a house in Dunfermline in April 1974 and continued to abuse her until April 1981.

Collaboration claims

He then repeatedly sexually assaulted a girl at a house in Dunfermline between April 1977 and April 1979.

She was 14 when the abuse started.

Ridgway abused another girl, from the age of 10, on various occasions between April 1976 and April 1978, also at a house in Dunfermline.

Then on various occasions between October 1985 and October 1996, Ridgway sexually assaulted another young girl at an address in Dunfermline.

She was five when the abuse started.

Ridgway gave evidence in his own defence.

He said he was innocent and claimed his victims had all "collaborated against me."

Prosecutor Shirley McKenna said the pensioner had one previous conviction from 25 years ago for assault to severe injury.

Defence counsel Michael Anderson said: "He is an elderly man and this will be his first sentence of imprisonment.

"The charges he was convicted of are less serious than those he was originally charged with."

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