August 2012 – Living in Lochmaben and has several links to Dumfries  

Dec 2006


A SEX beast whose vicious attack on a seven year old girl left her badly injured and traumatised had his prison term almost tripled on Wednesday.

Appeal judges told Charles Kirk, aged 41, that only his lack of previous record had saved him from a life sentence.

Kirk was jailed for just three and a half years after he admitted assaulting the youngster in a shed at his Thornhill home.

But the Crown brought him back to court to face a claim that judge Lord Dawson had been too lenient.

Appeal judges agreed and increased Kirk’s sentence to ten years. They also ordered that because of the possible risk he poses he should be kept under strict supervision for five years after that.

At the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, Lord Johnston — sitting with Lords Kingarth and Penrose — said: “We entirely support the position of the Crown.

“This was an horrific attack on a young girl causing her serious injury both physical and mental.”

The judge continued: “It has to be said we have seriously considered whether or not to impose a discretionary life sentence and only do not do so because there is no prior history of a similar conduct.”

The judges heard that background reports on Kirk — said to have a drink problem at the time of the offence — suggested a medium risk of future sex offending and a high risk of violence.

They also heard that the little girl had fully recovered from the horrific injuries to her private parts.

But the ordeal in July last year had left her suffering nightmares and temper tantrums.

If she even heard the name “Charlie” she would get angry and upset.

The incident had also had a disturbing effect on the rest of her family — who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Before reaching their decision, the appeal judges asked a psychologist to report on the girl’s progress after lengthy counselling sessions.

The girl’s 31-year-old mum was a frequent visitor to another house near Kirk’s home in Kinnell Street, Thornhill.

Her daughter got to know Kirk and played hide-and-seek and other kids’ games with him.

Kirk had a garden shed in which he kept a settee and chairs.

He and his victim were alone together on a Sunday afternoon playing hide and seek and the little girl hid in the shed.

When Kirk found her he head-butted her and started to punch her in the head and in the private parts, telling her “Shut up you little bitch.”

He also put his hands over her mouth, restricting her breathing.

A neighbour taking a short-cut past Kirk’s house heard a child screaming on the other side of the hedge and saw Kirk carrying the youngster who was crying and naked from the waist down.

The girl’s mum arrived at the house later, to collect her daughter, and found her lying on a bed beside Kirk. She was wearing only a vest and was wrapped in a towel.

“She was distressed, shaking and shouting for her mother,” the court heard.

When the mum confronted Kirk he claimed the girl had run away and come back in that state.

He also told police that he did not know what they were talking about when they tried to interview him.

But later, when arrangements were being made for an ID parade, he blurted out: “You’ve no need to do this anyway cause I’m pleading guilty to it.”

After the attack the girl was treated for her injuries at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary. Police took her to hospital with their blue light flashing because she was bleeding so badly.

Dumfries area procurator fiscal John service said yesterday: “The Crown welcomes the fact that the appeal court has taken the opportunity to review the original sentence and has now imposed a sentence which reflects the extremely serious nature of the crime.”