Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Soldier jailed for 'devastating' rape on a 12-year-old girl

A soldier who raped a 12-year-old girl has been jailed for five and a half years.

Stephen Watson, 22, had been drinking in pubs in Armadale, West Lothian, before returning to a home where the girl was sleeping.

He got into bed beside his victim and started having sex with her before instructing her not to tell anyone.

Watson was jailed at the High Court in Edinburgh after admitting raping the girl.

The court was told how Watson had talked to his victim about school and asked her if she had a boyfriend.

She remembered telling him to get off her and wriggling away before he stopped and got dressed. He then told her not to tell anyone what had happened and left the flat.

The victim cried and did not know what to do, advocate depute Richard Goddard said.

But she confided in a friend at school that she had been touched sexually and the matter was reported to a teacher who contacted the victim's mother, police and social workers.

DNA samples

Watson, formerly of Glencorse Barracks in Midlothian, initially told police he had done nothing wrong.

But his DNA was found on samples taken from the victim.

He then admitted assaulting and raping the girl on 21 February last year.

Passing sentence, judge Lord Burns said: "I have no doubt these events have had a devastating effect on this girl.

"It is clear you committed this crime at a time when you were under the influence of alcohol, but the circumstances are you deliberately returned to this house where this girl was sleeping."

The judge said it was plain that the girl had made it "abundantly clear" that she did not want him there.

"The fact that you may have been heavily under the influence of alcohol cannot mitigate this offence in any way," he added.

He then pointed out that the victim was a vulnerable young girl.

'High Risk'

The judge stated Watson had been assessed as posing a high risk of harm by the author of a background report, and that he would have faced a seven-year sentence, but for his guilty plea.

He then ordered that Watson should be under supervision for a further two years after his release from prison.

Defence counsel Michael Anderson said: "He is unable to recall the events due to the amount of alcohol he had consumed."

He added: "He recognises that what he did was completely wrong. He further recognises the impact of what he did may have on the girl and the consequences for her.

"He has acted out of character and under the influence of alcohol."

Lord Burns asked whether Watson's Army career would be at an end and Mr Anderson said: "Inevitably it will be at an end."

Watson was also placed on the sex offenders' register.

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