NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

'Lenient' child rapist sentence appeal by Crown rejected

John Barbour Image copyright Police Scotland

A bid by prosecutors to increase the prison sentence of a child rapist who preyed on young girls three decades ago has been rejected by appeal judges.

John Barbour, 52, of Aberdeen, had denied five charges of indecency and rape in the 1970s and 1980s during a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He was jailed for four years after being found guilty of one rape and two offences of indecency.

Barbour followed the appeal proceedings by a video link from prison.

The Crown went to the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh seeking to have the punishment increased and argued that the sentence imposed by the trial judge, Lord Ericht, was unduly lenient.

'Lower end'

Defence counsel Mark Stewart QC said he accepted that the sentence was "at the lower end of the scale" for such offences but maintained it was not unduly lenient.

The Lord Justice General, Lord Carloway, sitting with Lord Menzies and Lord Turnbull, refused the Crown sentence appeal.

Lord Carloway said: "Although the court agrees with the submission that this sentence is at the lower send of the available range it was still within that range."

Father-of-four Barbour, a first offender, was a schoolboy when he began abusing his first victim.

She told the court that she was targeted when she ran errands as a little girl.

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