South Scotland

Mark Norcliffe jailed for abusing boys in Borders village

High Court sign
Image caption The High Court in Edinburgh was told the gravity of the crimes demanded a lengthy sentence

A man who subjected two boys to a string of physical and sexual abuse has been jailed for 11-and-a-half years.

Mark Norcliffe, 53, punched and kicked the youngsters and struck them with a belt and shoes and sexually assaulted them at a village in the Borders.

A judge told him a jury had unanimously convicted him of "prolonged, abhorrent and disgusting" conduct.

One victim told the High Court in Edinburgh that he felt emotionally "messed up" by the abuse he suffered.

Lord Uist said that what caused Norcliffe to perpetrate the abuse remained unknown despite inquiries by a psychiatrist and social workers.

The judge told the first offender, formerly of Oughtibridge, near Sheffield, in Yorkshire: "The gravity of the crimes of which you were convicted demands a lengthy sentence of imprisonment."

Norcliffe began indecently abusing both of his child victims when they were aged about 11.

Defence counsel Neil Murray QC said that Norcliffe realised he had done "a great wrong".

Norcliffe was placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

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