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Rapist began sexual abuse of girls over 40 years ago

Robert Clyde, 69, repeatedly raped a woman

Robert Clyde, 69, repeatedly raped a woman

  • by ALAN MCEWEN
 

A PERVERT pensioner convicted of repeatedly raping a woman was found to have sexually assaulted another four young girls starting more than 40 years ago.

Robert Clyde wept after being convicted of 13 charges at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday and he now faces a lengthy sentence.

The 69-year-old was caught by police after he repeatedly raped a woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – over a two-day period at his Niddrie home in January 2011.

Detectives charged with investigating Clyde delved into his past and uncovered evidence that he started abusing children in November 1970.

Officers further discovered that he physically assaulted two young boys over a 16-year period, which began in January 1970.

One of his male victims – who also cannot be identified for legal reasons – was just four years old when Clyde started hitting him with a dog lead.

Clyde, of Hay Gardens, pleaded not guilty to the charges, with his legal team claiming that the evidence of his victims was unreliable.

But after a week-long trial, a jury returned guilty verdicts to a string of rape, sexual assault and assault charges.

After hearing how Clyde suffered from poor health and needed medication, temporary judge John Beckett QC remanded the first offender into custody.

Deferring sentence on Clyde for reports about his character, Judge Beckett said: “The offences you have been convicted of are extremely grave and will result in you being given a prison sentence.”

During the trial, the court heard how Clyde repeatedly raped his victim – who was in her 30s – in his home between January 21, 2011 and the following day.

The jury heard how Clyde lured his vulnerable victim home then seized her, held her down and repeatedly sexually assaulted her. The traumatised woman contacted police who launched an investigation.

Officers discovered that Clyde had targeted a number of other women and collected enough evidence to bring him to court. All his victims were young children when the abuse took place. The court heard harrowing accounts from each of Clyde’s victims about the attacks they suffered.

In her closing speech to the jury, prosecution lawyer Gillian Wade urged the members of the jury to convict Clyde.

Ms Wade said: “The Crown invites you to look at the evidence and the evidence alone.

“The Crown is inviting you to find objectively, logically and conclusively that the facts show that Robert Clyde is guilty of the offences on the indictment now before you.

“He was an opportunistic predator who stole childhood innocence and violated others.”

After his client was convicted, defence solicitor advocate Jim Stephenson told the court that his client suffered from poor health.

Mr Stephenson added: “He has suffered from strokes in the past. He is taking a number of medications.”

Judge Beckett deferred sentence on Clyde until February 19 at the High Court in 
Edinburgh.

 
 
 

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