Man, 84, jailed for seven years for historic child abuse

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An 84-year-old man who admitted a catalogue of child sex offending which began more than half a century ago has been jailed for seven years.

Terrance Oliphant, from Blackburn, Aberdeenshire, began the abuse in 1969 and continued until 1981.

He targeted a girl and a boy from the ages of nine, and admitted five charges, including rape, indecent assault and indecent behaviour.

The offences happened in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen.

Judge Norman McFadyen told Oliphant: "Your actions were depraved, but even worse they were directed towards two children."

He told Oliphant he would have faced a 10-year prison sentence but for his guilty pleas.

He was finally caught after a woman made disclosures during counselling sessions and he was reported to the police.

'Terrible crimes'

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson QC earlier told the court that Oliphant had now taken responsibility for the most serious of the offending and spared victims having to give evidence.

Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson said: "He has accepted his responsibility for these terrible crimes. He is aware he is going to go to prison."

Mr Paterson said Oliphant had some relatively minor age-related health problems and asked the judge to be as lenient as he could.

He was placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Det Insp Carron McKellar of Police Scotland said: "Oliphant subjected these two young children to horrendous abuse over a number of years.

"He took advantage of them both for his own pleasure, which is despicable."