South Scotland

Rapist William Wood jailed for 'sub-human' attacks on girls

A rapist described as being guilty of "sub-human depravity" has been jailed for 22 years for a string of sex attacks on two young girls.

William Wood, 71, of Newton Stewart, had denied the offences - stretching back to the 1970s - which occurred at addresses in Dumfries and Galloway.

He was convicted last month, by a jury of nine, of charges of rape, attempted rape, threats and assault.

His trial heard he got one of his victims pregnant three times.

Sentencing him at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Stewart said: "The story that the jurors heard was one of sub-human depravity and tear-jerking misery."

Lengthy sentence

His earlier trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard the former forester carried out the attacks between 1970 and 1991.

His first victim, who he got pregnant, was six-years-old when the abuse began. Wood also assaulted her by punching her and spitting on her and threatened her.

The court was told he also preyed on a second girl who was raped on various occasions over a 12-year period. She was also physically assaulted and threatened.

Wood also subjected a male to physical attacks during which the victim was forced to the ground and punched.

Defence solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder said Wood had given evidence at his trial and denied in most respects the allegations against him and continued to do so in a background report prepared on him.

He said it was accepted that a lengthy prison sentence was "inevitable" but asked the judge to take into account the passage of time since the offending.

'In denial'

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson earlier told jurors that Wood had behaved in a way that could not be tolerated in a civilised society.

The prosecutor said the impact for his victims was "far reaching".

Lord Stewart told Wood he had shown no regret or remorse.

He added: "You remain in denial. You sit there shaking your head today."

The judge said the seriousness of the offending and its duration meant there was really no option but to impose lengthy custodial sentences.

He pointed out that by denying the charges Wood had made victims come to court and relive their experiences.

Wood was also placed on the sex offenders register.

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