Glasgow & West Scotland

Man jailed for nine years for rape of teenage daughter

James Elder Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption James Elder denied the rape but was convicted by a jury at the High Court in Glasgow

A man has been jailed for nine years for the rape of his daughter who later took her own life.

James Elder, 43, raped 19-year-old Jamie-Leigh Craig at his flat in Glasgow's Parkhead in September 2016.

The teenager told her mother what had happened and the next day told police her father was her attacker. She killed herself three months later.

Lord Matthews said: "For a father to assault his daughter in this way is unthinkable."

Elder was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow last month following a trial but continues to deny the crime.

'Violent rape'

Lord Matthews said: "You have been convicted of the violent rape of your daughter."

He further described the offence as "abhorrent" and a "gross breach of trust".

Elder will be supervised for a further two years on his release. He was placed on the sex offenders list indefinitely.

Jamie-Leigh had ended up at his flat after walking out of the family home following a row.

She was later reported missing and eventually returned home with two police officers.

Describing her at that time, her mother Liz Craig had told the court: "It was not the daughter I knew. She was hysterical.

"She was just confused, irritable...just all over the place."

Ms Craig said her daughter went on to blurt out that Elder had raped her.

She told the jury: "She kneeled beside me and started crying. She put her head onto my lap. I just grabbed her. I put my arms around her and gave her a cuddle.

"I wish I could do that now."

Harrowing account

Jurors had been told at the start of the trial that the teenager had taken her own life in late December 2016.

The trial was read her harrowing account by one of the officers she had spoken to.

Jamie-Leigh recalled being at Elder's home that night and claimed three other men were also there.

She told police the attack happened after one of the men tried to kiss her before Elder raped her.

She stated: "I was being held down by my arms and he was having sex with me."

The attack was said to have lasted 10 minutes, but "seemed like forever".

She recalled at one point "slapping" out in a bid to get away. She added: "I remember feeling disgusting."

The trial heard that the teenager had ended up in hospital shortly after the rape when her mother caught her swallowing tablets.

'Blood on his hands'

During her testimony, Ms Craig said: "I just want to get justice. I am my daughter's voice now. You will never understand until you lose a child."

Weeks after the attack, Elder told a visitor to his home that he felt "guilty" about having sex with Jamie-Leigh.

He had also apparently written a letter claiming she had been "coming on to him" and they slept together twice.

Liam Ewing, defending, said Elder "maintains his position" of denial.

Jamie-Leigh's family spoke out after the trial last month insisting Elder should have been charged with murder.

Ms Craig said at the time: "He's got blood on his hands."

She added: "The last thing I said to Jamie Leigh as I was standing by her coffin was: 'I'll get justice for you'."

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