May 2009

Developer who abused girls jailed

A property developer has been jailed for five years for sexually abusing two girls he was babysitting in Edinburgh.

Donald McDonald, 65, formerly of Banting Drive, Oakwood, subjected one girl to a three-and-a-half year ordeal during the 1990s which began when she was eight years old.

He abused the other girl on various occasions between 1991 and 1994.

McDonald, of London, denied the allegations but was found guilty of lewd, indecent and libidinous behaviour at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

He has been placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Today, Sheriff Derrick McIntyre handed him the maximum sheriff court jail term for his abuse of the first girl and 18 months for the second child, the sentences to run concurrently.

“Charge one relates to the systematic sexual abuse of a young girl over three and a half years when she was aged between eight and 11,” said the sheriff.

“You were in a position of trust.

“Charge two relates to sexual abuse of a lesser degree.

“Such is the nature of these offences that you will realise that only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”

McDonald has been assessed as at low to medium risk of re-offending and at high risk of causing harm if he does.

Aidan Higgens, prosecuting, told the jury: “You have heard in evidence that Donald McDonald exploited his position of trust and his access to those two young girls by sexually abusing them at different times and in different ways.

“It could not have been easy for either young lady to give evidence about distressing details of sexual abuse suffered in childhood at the hands of Donald McDonald.

“I would ask you to find that these young ladies were very brave in coming here to give their evidence.