Former Royal Navy man jailed for Helensburgh child rape

image captionDawson continued to protest his innocence at the High Court in Glasgow

A former submariner who raped a primary schoolgirl while babysitting 15 years ago has been jailed for seven years.

Peter Dawson, 46, was convicted of raping the girl on one occasion between 11 May 1991 and 30 September 2000 at a house in Helensburgh.

Dawson, who was serving in the Royal Navy at the time, was also found guilty of sexually abusing the girl and her sister.

He had protested his innocence at the High Court in Glasgow.

Jailing Dawson, judge Lady Wise said: "You abused these vulnerable young girls in their home, which should have been their sanctuary.

"The abuse took place when the girls' mother was at work.

'Cunningly planned'

"Both girls were too young at the time to realise the extent of your wrongdoing.

"You perpetuated sexual abuse on these two young girls without thought to the harm it would do to them."

Lady Wise told Dawson that his offences were "cunningly planned and executed".

Dawson had shown his second victim a pornographic film and sexually abused her at a house in Helensburgh on various occasions between 1 July 1998 and 30 September 2000 when she was aged between four and five.

Defence counsel Lorraine Glancy said: "When these matters first came to light, he appeared to have made a fairly serious attempt to take his own life but was prevented from doing so by police and work colleagues."

Ms Glancy told the court that, after leaving the Royal Navy, Dawson, a first offender, worked as an engineer.

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