Glasgow & West Scotland

Child rapist James Higgins jailed for 11 years

High Court in Glasgow
Image caption Higgins' child victims gave evidence at the High Court in Glasgow via a CCTV link

A man who raped a six-year-old girl and sexually abused her five-year-old brother has been jailed for 11 years and six months.

James Higgins, 37, of Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, was found guilty of attacks between June 2006 and August 2007 at a house in Cardonald, Glasgow.

He had denied the offences, meaning his child victims had to give evidence.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Judge Lord Matthews ordered Higgins to be monitored for six years after release.

During his trial, the court heard from Higgins' victims who gave evidence by CCTV link.

The children told prosecutor Ashley Edwards that Higgins started abusing them after their mother died.

'Serious offences'

In addition to the sex attacks, Higgins kicked the girl and slapped her on the head and body, as well as pulled her hair and slammed a door on her finger.

He also slapped the boy on the head and body and kicked him.

The jury found Higgins guilty of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards the children. He was also convicted of assaulting them.

Jailing him, Lord Matthews told Higgins: "You have been convicted of very serious offences.

"Who knows what the effect will be on your victims. They had to give evidence in this case. That can't have been easy for them.

"I have decided on an extended sentence to protect the public from harm."

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