South Scotland

Jedburgh pensioner jailed for abusing eight-year-old

A Jedburgh man who admitted sexually abusing a young girl over a two-year period starting when she was eight has been jailed for nearly three years.

John Swan, 78, also pled guilty to sexually assaulting a woman in her mid-20s with learning difficulties.

The offences against the young girl started when he was "play fighting" with her in his home but ended up lying on top of the child.

He was jailed for a total of 34 months at Selkirk Sheriff Court.

The court heard how, on separate occasions, he touched the young girl indecently, simulated sexual intercourse and exposed himself to her.

The incidents were first reported to police in 2005 after she confided in a relative.

Substantial overdose

He was interviewed but eventually released without charge.

However, he was reported again in 2014 after the young woman with learning difficulties told a relative that Swan had touched her.

The court was told that when Swan discovered the police wanted to speak to him again he took a substantial overdose and was in hospital for several days.

He was sentenced to 24 months after he admitted lewd and libidinous practices towards the girl from 1998 to 2000.

He also received a further 10 months for sexually assaulting the woman with learning difficulties two years ago - to run after the longer jail term.

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