August 2018

70-year-old man jailed for six years for raping teenage girl in Midlothian

A 70-year-old man has been jailed for six years for raping a teenage girl in Midlothian.

Paul Cooke was earlier convicted of repeatedly raping the girl when she was aged 16 and carrying out sex assaults on two other younger teenagers.

He had denied the charges which forced the victims to give evidence against him in court

The attacks happened between January 2016 and March 2017.

Lord Boyd told Cooke, who is from Dalkeith, he would be put on the sex offenders’ register.

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Boyd of Duncansby told Cooke: “She was young enough to be your granddaughter. It appeared to me you became obsessed by her.”

He said there had been an element of Cooke grooming the girl for sex.

He told him: “The fact is during a period of 15 months you sexually assaulted three teenage girls.”

In 2016 he sexually assaulted one girl when out in a car in the Midlothian area and on various occasions between June that year and March last year he grabbed hold of and molested a second girl when she was aged 13 and 14.

The third girl was also sexually assaulted in a car and in a lorry at different places in Scotland and at a house in Loanhead, in Midlothian.

But on various occasions between August 2016 and March last year he also subjected her to rapes at a house in Dalkeith.

Unbelievably, social workers suggested the judge hand him a community payback order instead of a prison sentence.

However, Lord Boyd of Duncansby labelled the report from social workers “remarkable” and stressed a non-custodial sentence for the rape of a teenager was “NOT a serious option”.