Glasgow & West Scotland

John McGinn jailed for raping girl he rescued from blaze

John McGinn Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption John McGinn was arrested when his victim came forward 20 years after the rape

A firefighter who was found guilty of raping a young girl he saved from a blaze has been jailed for 10 years.

John McGinn, 56, rescued the nine-year-old, whom he knew, from her home in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, in 1994.

Hours later he raped her at her grandmother's home and threatened to kill her mother if she told anyone.

The girl, now aged 30, later contacted police. An investigation of McGinn's past led to him being convicted of six charges against the girl and others.

McGinn, who is now retired, was convicted of the charges following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow in June.

'Brutal behaviour'

Jailing him on Tuesday, judge Lord Bonomy told McGinn he was guilty of a "catalogue of brutal behaviour".

Lord Bonomy also placed him on the sex offenders list indefinitely.

During the trial the court heard that McGinn denied raping the young girl after he was arrested by police.

He told detectives: "It's a downright lie - it did not happen. No chance. For her to come out with that is ridiculous. I would rather put a bullet in my own head than be a paedophile."

He added: "Hanging is too good for a paedophile."

McGinn, from Bellshill, claimed the victim had previously tried to blackmail him as she knew he had a lucrative fire brigade pension.

'A monster'

He claimed the rape allegation was payback for not giving her money.

The jury heard, however, that McGinn had assaulted another young girl and given her sweets and juice to keep her quiet.

The court also heard from a woman, aged 50, who had lived with McGinn in the Bellshill area, in the 1980s.

She said she had suffered years of sexual and physical violence from him and described McGinn as a "monster".

The woman told the court that she was repeatedly raped by McGinn and had eventually snapped and chased him with a knife after he tied her to a bed and sexually assaulted her.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites