Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh care worker jailed for six years over sex abuse

Gordon Collins Image copyright Ciaran Donnelly

A former council care worker has been jailed for six years for sexually abusing vulnerable children in local authority units.

Gordon Collins was convicted after a police cold case review found evidence he attacked youngsters at residential units in Edinburgh over 11 years.

The 59-year-old, of Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, was convicted following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Judge Lady Wise jailed Collins for six years for the "appalling" crimes.

Collins was earlier found guilty of indecency offences against four underage girls and the repeated rape of one of them.

'Exploited children'

Collins, an assistant unit manager, told his trial that nothing had come of an inquiry into him instigated by social services in 1997 but he was later suspended after the diary of one of his victim's was found.

He first began his abuse in 1995 with a 13-year-old girl whom he would kiss, touch and tell she was beautiful as he plied her with cigarettes and sweets.

Another teenager was kissed, bitten on the neck and molested by him over a year during her time at a young persons unit.

A further underage girl was repeatedly raped by him over almost a year after he went into her bedroom at night in one of the units.

In 2006 he cuddled, kissed, bit a 15-year-old on the neck and told her he loved her while molesting the girl at a secure unit for youngsters in Edinburgh.

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson told Collins' trial: "Rather than care and protect, he has sought to exploit these children."

'Predatory abuse'

Collins was interviewed by police in 2006 after one of the victims had made a complaint to them, but at the time it was considered there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.

Another woman contacted police in 2011 and gave an account of what had happened to her as a resident a city young persons unit. A cold case review was undertaken and police were given a list of all the female residents in the units at the time.

Lady Wise placed Collins on the sex offenders register indefinitely as well as sending him to prison for six years.

Passing sentence, she said: "You have been convicted by the jury of an appalling course of criminal conduct consisting of predatory sexual abuse of four young girls in your care.

"All were extremely vulnerable and you were in a position of authority and trust to each of them.

"You have shown no remorse for your actions and continue to deny responsibility for the offences while your victims continue to live with the consequences."

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