Highlands & Islands

Man from Dornoch jailed for raping 12-year-old girl

A man who raped a 12-year-old girl after being banned from approaching girls has been jailed for six years.

Alexander Mitchell, of Dornoch, was on bail at the time after being accused of having sex with two 13-year-olds.

Jailing Mitchell at the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lord Boyd said he would have sentenced him to nine years if he had not pleaded guilty.

Police Scotland said the 23-year-old had exploited the 12-year-old "in the most horrific way".

Lord Boyd told Mitchell: "You asked a 12-year-old girl to climb in your bedroom window and took advantage of her and raped her.

"At the time you were on bail for having sex with two 13-year-olds. You have an obvious interest in underage girls."

The judge ordered Mitchell, who is assessed as posing a high risk to young girls, to be monitored in the community for two years after his release from jail.

Mitchell was also placed on the sex offenders' register.

'Sweaty and fidgety'

Mitchell made contact with the girl through social media and then met her and encouraged her to climb in to the house through a window.

This was despite the fact he had been granted bail after a sheriff court appearance with a condition that he would not be in the company of girls aged under 16.

Police were alerted that a young girl had climbed through a window and when Mitchell answered the door he appeared to be nervous.

Advocate depute Ian Wallace said that Mitchell was pale, sweaty and fidgety but insisted that there was no-one else in the house.

Police saw the girl lying in a bedroom but at the time she said they had just been talking and smoking cigarettes.

But in March last year, the girl revealed what had happened with Mitchell.

She said she had not told the truth about the incident in 2014 "as she was scared of getting into trouble", the court heard.

'Vulnerable victim'

Mitchell admitted raping the girl when she was 12 years old in June 2014 at a house near Invergordon in Easter Ross.

Mitchell, a labourer, has a number of previous convictions for sexual offences.

In court, his defence counsel Lorraine Glancy handed Lord Boyd a letter in which he expressed his remorse for raping the girl.

Ms Glancy said: "Since the incident he has had no further contact with his victim. He is now a 23-year-old man. He knows what he did was wrong."

She said that at the time of the rape Mitchell was 20 and after the death of a friend he had taken to misusing alcohol and drugs.

Following the sentencing, Det Sgt Lynne Baptie, of Police Scotland's public protection unit, said: "Alexander Mitchell targeted his vulnerable young victim and exploited her in the most horrific way.

"It is down to the victim's courage in reporting the incident and engaging with officers and partner agencies that Mitchell was convicted and prevented from potentially causing harm to other young people."

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