May 2018

Plasterer jailed after admitting to sexual assaults in a confession letter

A child rapist was jailed today after he a wrote a letter of confession to a victim of his sexual abuse.

Kevin Nichol began preying on children more than 30 years ago and went on to rape one girl and tried to rape another.

But Nichol later penned a confessional to one victim and told her: “I just want to say I am sorry what I did. I don’t know why I did it.” In the letter the 53-year-old said: “There must be something wrong with me.”

He claimed that he needed help but did not know where to go.

Nichol went on: “I needed to write this letter to you. It may mean nothing to you but I am so sorry.”

But advocate depute James Keegan QC told the High Court in Edinburgh that Nichol had confessed in the letter to abusing the victim but she still had to give evidence at his trial.

Nichol, of Cadell Place, Fauldhouse, in West Lothian, denied a string of charges but was found guilty of six offences of indecent behaviour, attempted rape and rape.

The plasterer began targeting his first victim when she was aged five when he put the little girl’s hand inside his trousers and got her to touch him at a close in a block of flats in Uphall, West Lothian, on an occasion between October 1983 and September the following year.

Nichol’s behaviour towards the girl escalated into touching her and getting her to perform sex acts on him before he went on to assault and rape her between October 1985 and September 1990.

The victim, now 39, told the court that she was crying at the painful ordeal she was subjected during repeated rapes. The woman rejected a defence assertion that what she said about Nichol raping her as a child was “lies”.

Nichol went on to turn his attention to a second girl whom he also molested from the age of five beginning in 1994 in Bathgate, in West Lothian, and went on to carry out sex acts on the child and tried to rape her on one occasion between 1998 and 2000.

Mr Keegan told jurors that Nichol had systematically pursued a course of criminal conduct against the children.

The prosecutor said that Nichol began to touch his first victim inappropriately when the opportunity presented itself but he went on to abuse her on many occasions with his behaviour escalating in seriousness.

Nichol, who has a previous conviction for sex crime, had been on bail throughout his trial but after he was found guilty he was remanded in custody by a judge.

Lord Ericht called for the preparation of a background report ahead of sentencing next month.

He told jurors it had been “a very unpleasant case”. Nichol was placed on the sex offenders’ register and Scottish ministers will be informed of his conviction under legislation to designed to protect vulnerable groups

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