Rapist’s jail term stands

Court: Pros­e­cu­tors’ bid to in­crease four-year sen­tence re­jected by judges

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - LOCAL | NEWS -

A bid by pros­e­cu­tors to in­crease the prison sen­tence of a child rapist who preyed on young girls in Aberdeen three decades ago was re­jected by ap­peal judges yes­ter­day.

Sales man­ager John Bar­bour, 52, was jailed for four years ear­lier this year af­ter he was con­victed of in­de­cency of­fences against two chil­dren and the rape of one of the vic­tims.

The Crown went to the Court of Ap­peal in Edinburgh seek­ing to have the pun­ish­ment in­creased, ar­gu­ing the sen­tence im­posed by the trial judge, Lord Ericht, was un­duly le­nient.

Ad­vo­cate de­pute Alex Pren­tice QC said Bar­bour had first of­fended when he was aged 13 to 14 and the vic­tim was aged four.

Mr Pren­tice said the crim­i­nal con­duct had con­tin­ued with the sec­ond girl when he was be­tween 17 and 21 and she was be­tween four and seven.

De­fence coun­sel Mark Ste­wart QC, how­ever, ar­gued the trial judge was “uniquely placed” to con­sider the case af­ter hear­ing all the ev­i­dence at the trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The Lord Jus­tice Gen­eral, Lord Car­loway, sit­ting with Lord Men­zies and Lord Turnbull, re­fused the Crown sen­tence ap­peal.

Lord Car­loway said: “Al­though the court agrees with the sub­mis­sion that this sen­tence is at the lower end of the avail­able range it was still within that range.”

First of­fender Bar­bour, formerly of Dane­stone Ter­rance, Bridge of Don, in Aberdeen, fol­lowed pro­ceed­ings by a video link from prison. He was ear­lier found guilty of pin­ning a four-year-old girl against a wall and mo­lest­ing her and get­ting her to per­form a sex act on him be­tween De­cem­ber 1978 and De­cem­ber the fol­low­ing year in his home city.

He was also con­victed of mo­lest­ing and rap­ing the sec­ond child from the age of four be­tween Au­gust 1984 and De­cem­ber 1986.

The first vic­tim told his trial that as a lit­tle girl her par­ents would reg­u­larly send her on an er­rand at the same time on a Sun­day to get news­pa­pers but she would be in­ter­cepted by Bar­bour.

She said on the first oc­ca­sion he took her to the back of a land­ing at a block of flats. “I re­alised some­thing was not right so I started scream­ing,” she said.

The 43-year-old woman said that as an adult she had gone for coun­selling.

“I re­alised some­thing was not right”

RAPIST: John Bar­bour was jailed for four years

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