Miner jailed over catalogue of sexual abuse

The High Court, Edinburgh. William Mailer was found guilty of raping girls aged 11-13. Picture: Gerg Macvean
The High Court, Edinburgh. William Mailer was found guilty of raping girls aged 11-13. Picture: Gerg Macvean
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A FORMER miner who subjected three girls to sexual abuse decades ago has been jailed for eight years after a court heard his victims still bear the scars of their ordeals.

William Mailer raped two of his underage victims, one of whom he had plied with drink, and attempted to rape the third.

Mailer, 71, was found guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh of six charges of serious sexual ­assault, including three charges of rape.

Lord Glennie told the former lorry driver and milkman: “These offences happened nearly 40 years ago when you were in your 30s and early 40s.”

The judge said it was clear from victim impact statements Mailer’s actions had been seriously damaging.

He said: “[Your victims] still show the scars even today.”

Lord Glennie told Mailer the nature of the offending against the girls required the imposition of “a significant custodial sentence”.

He said he took into account that the pensioner had been assessed as now posing a low risk, his age and his health problems.

The judge told Mailer that he would be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely. Mailer, from Falkirk, had earlier denied the charges against him.

His first victim was aged 12 or 13 when attacked in a car at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, after she was given drink.

Mailer exposed himself and grabbed her by the neck and tried to get her to carry out a sex act during the incident between 1976 and 1978.

He assaulted the girl again and tried to rape her at his then home in Dalkeith, Midlothian, after keeping her school bag following the initial assault.

She was induced to go to his house to collect the bag but was pushed into a bedroom and on to a bed during the attack.

During the same period, he raped another girl, aged 11 or 12, at the house in Dalkeith.

The youngster was plied with alcohol and while she was asleep, he removed clothing and had sex with her, continuing the attack when she regained ­consciousness. Mailer indecently assaulted and twice raped ­another underage girl during the 1980s.

The victim, now 42, aid she would come to Scotland from her home in England for holidays with her grandmother.

Mailer, who she said was a “touchy, touchy, feely, feely person”, preyed on the girl at a house in Bonnyrigg, Midlothian.

The woman estimated she was about 11 when he raped her. “He just used to say things like he loved me, that I was a ­special little girl,” she said. “Because he told me that was what was ­supposed to happen, I believed him.”

The woman said Mailer had carried out other sex acts with her as a child. On one occasion, he had taken her and other children to Portobello. The others were told to get out of the car to pick flowers and she was made to carry out a sex act on him.

She said: “Once I realised it was wrong, I felt guilty and ashamed.”

She told advocate depute Keith Stewart QC that the ­offending stopped when she was 13.

Defence solicitor advocate Jim Stephenson said Mailer continued to deny the offence but realised he would be going to jail.

He said: “He is a man who suffers very, very poor health.Any custodial sentence is going to have a large effect on the remaining years he has left to live.”