Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Armadale man jailed for attempted murder of girl

High Court in Edinburgh
Image caption McArthur was given a life sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh

A man who sexually assaulted and tried to murder a little girl has been given a life sentence.

William McArthur, 36, of Armadale, encouraged a woman to send him topless pictures as his young victim lay in a critical condition in hospital.

He inflicted numerous injuries on the four-year-old victim of the attempted murder and sexually abused her.

A judge told him he was a "serious danger to any women and children" he came into contact with.

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Uist said: "The crimes which you committed on the four-year-old girl were ones of unspeakable, indeed incomprehensible, evil.

"Your treatment of her and the injuries you inflicted on her were quite horrific."

String of crimes

The judge told him that he was imposing imprisonment on him for an indeterminate period under an order for lifelong restriction.

He ordered that McArthur must serve a minimum jail term of seven years before he became eligible to apply for parole.

Lord Uist said he would only be released when it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public that he continued to be confined in prison.

McArthur had denied a series of charges but was convicted of a string of crimes.

He was found guilty of assaulting and raping a 29-year-old woman in June and July 2014 at a village near Dumfries.

He was also convicted of attacking a six-year-old girl between March and July in 2014 in the Dumfriesshire village by threatening her with violence and brandishing a knife at her.

McArthur was also found guilty of raping a 14-year-old girl at a house in Grangemouth in November 2017.

In the murder bid on the four-year-old girl he assaulted her on various occasions between October in 2017 and January last year.

Stalking charges

The offence occurred at a house in Grangemouth and at McArthur's home address in Armadale.

He also sexually assaulted the child during the same period.

In addition he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 40-year-old woman at an address in Grangemouth in December 2017.

McArthur admitted a further two charges of stalking young mothers he met through a dating website before his trial began.

Defence counsel Donald Findlay QC urged the judge to deal with him by imposing a determinate sentence followed by a period of supervision.

He said: "He is not a man with an inherently dangerous criminal past.

"There are clearly issues of dealing with women and children that he has to address."

In addition to his jail sentence, McArthur was put on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

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