Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man jailed for raping teenager and girl, 12

High Court in Edinburgh Image copyright Google

A West Lothian man who raped a 12-year-old and fathered a child with a teenager has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Dylan Bennett, 22, took two girls to woods at Uphall and Livingston, and raped the youngest victim at a house in Linlithgow's High Street.

He began having sex with under age girls in December 2014 and continued until 29 December 2015.

Bennett earlier pled guilty to the majority of the offences.

However, a jury had to make a decision on a further rape allegation and convicted him of having unlawful intercourse.

Bennett committed all the offences while he was freed under court bail orders.

'Significant impact'

A judge pointed out to Bennett he was aged 20 and 21 when he committed the offences against underage girls aged 12, 13 and 14.

Lord Woolman said his defence counsel had explained Bennett was aware of the ages of the victims.

The judge told Bennett at the High Court in Edinburgh: "The offences have had a significant impact."

He said that not only had one girl had a child but that the youngest was admitted to hospital with a suspected overdose.

Lord Woolman said he accepted the offences did not involve force and Bennett had "a troubled childhood and adolescence".

He told Bennett, a prisoner in Addiewell jail, he would have faced six years but for his guilty pleas.

The judge also ordered he be under supervision for a further four years.

Defence counsel Ronnie Renucci said: "He has confirmed that he was unaware of the age of consent in the sense he thought it was 15."

"He has not really had any sexual education or guidance from parents in respect of that," he told the court.

However, Mr Renucci added: "He is aware, and was aware, he was acting illegally. Clearly that lack of guidance has had an effect on him."

The defence counsel said Bennett's mother had died in front of him when he was 10.

Bennett was placed on the sex offenders' register.

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