NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Child rapist who photographed abuse of toddler jailed for 13 years

High Court in Edinburgh
Image caption Sinclair was jailed at the High Court in Edinburgh

A child rapist who photographed his abuse of a two-year-old girl in Moray and shared the images has been jailed for 13 years.

Matthew Sinclair, 28, from Elgin, was caught after he left his mobile phone on to charge and a woman looked at its contents and found messages on an app.

Sinclair admitted raping the two-year-old and distributing or showing indecent photos.

Judge Michael O'Grady QC said the crime was depraved and horrendous.

Police described Sinclair as "dangerous and predatory".

The judge told Sinclair at the High Court in Edinburgh: "In these courts we are depressingly familiar with the depths to which some individuals will sink to satisfy their urges.

"Even so, some behaviour still has the power to shock and yours surely has."

'Deeply disturbing'

He said the depravity, cynicism and cruel indifference with which he abused the child, who was little more than a baby, was "quite beyond description".

The judge told the sex offender: "You do, at the very least at times, show a considerable lack of empathy and a failure to recognise the horrendous nature of what you have done."

He earlier told Sinclair, who has been placed on the sex offenders' register, that he had committed "acts of breathtaking wickedness and depravity".

Mr O'Grady told Sinclair that such crimes were bound to attract a significant jail sentence and that he would have faced an 18-year prison term, but for his early guilty plea.

The judge also ordered that Sinclair be kept under supervision for a further six years because of the "deeply disturbing" nature of the offences and fears that he may present a substantial risk on his eventual release.

Defence counsel Susan Duff said: "I cannot make anything he did any less awful. His crime is abhorrent."

Det Insp Alan Armit of Police Scotland said after the case: "Matthew Sinclair is a dangerous and predatory individual who has committed horrific acts of abuse, for which he is rightly being punished.

"I would like to commend the victim's family for their bravery throughout this ordeal. His guilty plea and this sentence is testament to the evidence provided and the investigative work carried out by officers."

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