Tayside and Central Scotland

Former soldier jailed for raping and abusing child

John Johnstone Image copyright Ciaran Donnelly
Image caption John Johnstone's crimes were described by a judge as depraved and wicked

A former soldier who was charged with rape after his victim covertly recorded conversations with him decades later has been jailed for nine years.

A court heard John Johnstone apologised to the woman during one of the taped conversations.

Johnstone, 50, was convicted of abusing and raping the child in Polmont and Bo'ness between June 1980 and March 1990.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register.

Johnstone had denied the charges during his trial at the High Court in Edinburgh in March.

The victim told the court she had gone to a house where Johnstone was visiting in 2015 and recorded a conversation with her abuser, with her phone in her back pocket.

During the recording, which was played to the jury, Johnstone said: "I was so wrong and I know I was wrong. That's why I left."

'Depravity and wickedness'

During a second conversation she had asked Johnstone to say what it was he had done to her.

The woman said: "He did actually say he had sexual intercourse with me on numerous occasions."

She told the jury she had later "poured out everything that had gone on" to a family doctor, who convinced her to report it to the authorities.

Defence counsel Derick Nelson asked Johnstone, of Sleaford, in Lincolnshire, what he was referring to when he had said sorry in the recordings.

He said: "I kissed her inappropriately when I was about 18.

"I kissed her twice. The second time I stopped I was so disgusted with myself."

Judge Michael O'Grady QC told Johnstone: "The depravity, wickedness and dreadful breach of trust which this charge represents are all too clear.

"So too is the damage you have done to a child and the woman she has become.

"You will understand that only a significant sentence of imprisonment can reflect the gravity of your crime."

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