A FORMER policeman who sexually abused four girls and two boys over a 25-year period was yesterday jailed for 11 years.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that James Ainsworth, 62, told two of his female victims: “I’m a police officer – no-one will believe you.”
Ainsworth pleaded guilty to seven charges of sexual abuse and one of rape.
The offences involving the girls and boys were committed between 1965 and 1990.
He admitted the offences as a second trial against him was about to start. The first trial had to be abandoned after Ainsworth was assaulted outside court. Jailing Ainsworth, judge Norman Ritchie QC yesterday told him: “You have admitted the wrong you did.
“I was going to sentence you to 12 years, but I’m prepared to give you a discount of a year as there was no need for the victims to testify for a second time.”
Judge Ritchie also placed Ainsworth on the sex offenders’ register.
Defence QC Andrew Lamb said: “Mr Ainsworth had some difficulty in coming to terms with the offences. His pleas of guilty and acceptance of his own behaviour had the result that the victims did not have to give evidence for a second time.”
Advocate depute Kath Harper, prosecuting, said Ainsworth’s predatory sexual behaviour began when he was just 14.
He started touching an eight-year-old girl’s breasts and raped her once when she was around eight or nine.
Referring to the rape, which occurred after Ainsworth took the girl up to a loft area, Ms Harper said: “The girl did not understand what was happening to her as she had not yet had sex education. She felt guilty and ashamed and felt that what had happened was her own fault.”
The court heard that Ainsworth also sexually abused three other girls – one of them in the police house in Ayrshire where he was stationed.
He forced the girl to perform a sex act on him and she was so traumatised that she cleaned her teeth with powdered Vim.
Ainsworth told the girl, who was aged six: “No-one will believe you. I am a police officer and something bad will happen to your mum.”
The court heard one of Ainsworth’s male victims was sexually abused from the age of five.
Ainsworth would pretend to be Spider-Man before sexually abusing the boy and telling him: “That’s what the big boys do.”
A girl who was sexually abused as she took a shower was told: “You will be dragged through the courts. I am a police officer and it will be my word against yours.”
The offences were committed in Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire.