Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man guilty of child abuse over three decades

John McCallum
Image caption John McCallum was convicted of a series of serious sexual offences

A Midlothian man has been found guilty of abusing two women throughout their childhood and teenage years.

John McCallum, 53, from Loanhead, was convicted of a series of serious sexual offences committed from the late 1970s to the early 1990s.

The victims, who are twin sisters, were as young as six when the abuse began.

Police paid tribute to 40-year-olds Tracy and Rachel Steadwood, who waived their right to anonymity to encourage other victims of abuse to come forward.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how the sisters kept quiet for years about the abuse.

The jury was told how McCallum, married with two daughters, molested them during visits to a mobile caravan parked at a travellers' site in Edinburgh, at a house in Loanhead, and the cab of his lorry.

In a joint statement, the women said: "It has taken a lot of years and bravery to come forward and tell police about what happened, but we did so, and justice has done us proud.

"I would encourage any victims of abuse who have not reported their ordeal to the police to come forward. We did, and we finally have justice."

Det Ch Insp Kenny Gray said the pair had shown "tremendous bravery" to come forward to the police.

He said: "Police Scotland is committed to keeping people safe, and we will carry out a thorough and robust investigation whenever we receive a report of sexual abuse, regardless of how long ago it happened.

"Likewise we will always act on any information we receive about anyone who is at risk of abuse.

"I would appeal to anyone who has suffered abuse in the past, who has not reported the matter, to get in touch with Police Scotland on 101, or make a report through a third party organisation such as Rape Crisis Scotland, or Women's Aid."

Judge Lord Boyd remanded McCallum in custody to return to the court for sentencing later this month.

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