Firefighter raped young girl he rescued from blaze

John McGinn at the High Court Glasgow. The former firefighter has been convicted of sexual offences. Picture: Iain McLellan/Spindrift
John McGinn at the High Court Glasgow. The former firefighter has been convicted of sexual offences. Picture: Iain McLellan/Spindrift
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A FIREFIGHTER raped a young girl after she had been rescued from a blaze at her house.

John McGinn attacked the nine year-old then threatened that if she did not keep quiet he would kill her mother. A jury heard how the 56-year-old also raped and abused a woman he once dated.

He said if I told anyone he would kill my mother

Victim

He was convicted of six charges including rape as well as lewd and libidinous conduct after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow in June and was due to be sentenced ysterday. However, the case was adjourned until later this month.

McGinn was a firefighter saving lives for more than 30 years, based mainly across North Lanarkshire. He joined colleagues, who battled a blaze at the young rape victim’s home in Bellshill in January 1994.

The child’s mother was rushed to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation while the nine year-old was taken to her grandmother’s house to be looked after.

McGinn, who knew the family as he had lived in the same area, later turned up at the house and it was there he pounced on the traumatised child.

He initially pretended they were playing a game called King of the Castle.

But, while alone, he pulled the girl on top of him, placed his hand over her mouth.

The victim, now aged 30, said: “I told him to stop. He said if I told anyone he would kill my mother.”

McGinn, who also worked as a bouncer, was held by police almost 20 years later after the woman plucked up the courage to report her ordeal.

He branded the woman’s allegations as lies, claiming that the victim was trying to blackmail him for his lucrative fire brigade pension.

He told detectives: “I would rather put a bullet in my own head than be a paedophile.”

However, the jury was told that a woman had also suffered at McGinn’s violent hands around the same time.

The 50 year-old branded the retired fireman a monster.

They started dating when the woman was only 16 in the mid-1980s and she said he made her life a misery.

He told her what to wear and would give her pocket money to spend. She told the court that she was repeatedly raped by McGinn.

The jury also heard how McGinn also assaulted another young girl and later bribed her to keep quiet by giving her sweets and juice.

After the verdict of the trial in June, the judge, Lord Bonomy, told McGinn: “You have been found guilty of a monstrous catalogue of physical and sexual abuse of a woman and two young children.

“There is no explanation that could excuse what the jury has found you guilty of. The sentence will inevitably be a lengthy prison sentence.”