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Former Queen's guard at Balmoral jailed for raping girls

image copyrightCiaran Donnelly
image captionJohn Paul Hoy 'dominated and terrified' his victims, a judge said

A former soldier who was part of the Queen's guard at Balmoral Castle has been jailed for nine years for sexual abuse against children.

John Paul Hoy repeatedly molested and raped two girls and indecently assaulted a third victim in his home in Edinburgh between 1986 and 1996.

Judge Lady Scott said the 46-year-old had "dominated and terrified" his victims.

Jailing him at High Court in Edinburgh, she said Hoy had blighted their lives.

Lady Scott said: "These offences constitute a very serious and persistent course of sexual abuse of children."

"You blighted their lives and caused significant and obvious damage, especially to the second victim who spoke of her childhood being taken from her."

"The damage to her was all too evident in her evidence, as indeed was her bravery."

The judge told Hoy, who was assessed as posing a high risk of sexual harm: "The scale of the abuse to the first and second victims is extraordinarily serious."

Lady Scott said that in sentencing Hoy she took into account he was also a child when a large part of the offending occurred.

She also noted that Hoy had lengthy Army service which had left him struggling with the effects of post traumatic stress disorder.

'Pomp and circumstance'

Hoy was 12 when he began committing sex crimes in 1986 against a nine-year-old girl with the abuse escalating into repeated rapes.

His second victim was aged seven when he began preying on her in 1988 and she too became the target for repeated rapes.

A third girl was indecently assaulted by him at a house in Edinburgh on two occasions when she was aged between nine and 13.

Hoy had denied the 11 charges of rape, indecent conduct and indecent assault. He was found guilty following a trial.

He was acquitted of a further rape charge against a girl aged 14 or 15 allegedly committed at another address in Edinburgh between 2004 and 2006.

At his trial he lodged a special defence of alibi which stated that for two periods in 2004 he was stationed with the Army in Aberdeenshire at Balmoral, the Queen's residence in Scotland.

He told the court: "We were part of the Queen's royal guard at Balmoral so it was pomp and circumstance, but also with guard duties."

His first victim told jurors at his trial that she was subjected to repeated abuse. She said: "I was a little girl. I was scared. I was living in terror some days."

His second victim told the court: "I didn't have a childhood. My childhood was taken away from."

'Abhorrent' crimes

Defence counsel Iain McSporran QC said Hoy continued to maintain his complete denial of guilt.

Hoy was placed on the sex offender's register indefinitely.

The children's charity, NSPCC Scotland, said Hoy subjected young girls to "terrifying ordeals", and the crimes he committed against them was "abhorrent".

A spokesman said: "They have shown immense bravery in speaking out.

"Cases such as these show that people who experience sexual abuse will be listened to and justice can be achieved. It is so important that these girls receive the support they need to recover."

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