November 2019

Dumfriesshire rapist robbed victim of ‘innocence of childhood’

A man who repeatedly raped a young girl over an eight-year period has been jailed for more than nine years.

Mark Hamilton, 48, a sales assistant from Dumfriesshire, told police: “It was like an addiction.”

He admitted sexually abusing the girl from the age of eight and then raping her from the age of 11 to 19.

Judge Lord Arthurson told Hamilton he had robbed his victim of the “innocence of childhood” and jailed him for nine years and four months.

The offences were committed at various addresses in Dumfriesshire.

“Your sexual abuse of this girl began when she was eight,” said Lord Arthurson, at the High Court in Glasgow.

“You repeatedly raped her on occasions too numerous to count.

“You accepted your culpability from the outset and there has been no attempt on your part to minimise the crime.”

He told Hamilton he had forced the girl to “experience what no child should have to”.

In her victim impact statement the girl said the abuse and rapes had had a serious detrimental effect on her.

The court had previously heard how the victim had told a work colleague about the abuse in February 2019 and subsequently told her boyfriend and family who had called the police.

The abuse began when she was eight and escalated to rape when she was 11.

Defence counsel Kevin McCallum told the court his client was “genuinely remorseful” and handed the judge a letter in which he apologised for what he had done.

In addition to his jail term, Hamilton was placed on the sex offenders register.