doc

A SEX attacker who got a schoolgirl into his car was jailed for eight years today (Wednesday) after raping the 11-year-old victim.

A judge told Musselburgh man Ross Muir that his behaviour was "predatory" and added: "There is no doubt you knew the girl was underage."

Lord Boyd of Duncansby said that first offender Muir continued to deny the offence and as a consequence showed no remorse.

The former Inland Revenue and Scottish Widows employee appeared to have been taking 'legal high' drugs, but the judge said that he did not know whether that had anything to do with his offending.

Lord Boyd said that Muir had told his earlier trial an "absurd" story to explain the presence of forensic evidence.

Muir subjected the girl to a painful assault. The girl, now aged 13, had to relive her ordeal at the High Court in Edinburgh after he denied raping her.

Muir was convicted of phoning her and inducing her to meet him in October 2015 and get into his car before kissing her, exposing himself, getting her to perform a sex act on him, pushing her from the front of the vehicle to the back seat and raping her.

The victim told the court that the sex attack had left her feeling sore and she was crying after it.

The girl said that she had left her home in the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh and saw a Vauxhall car with someone sitting in it.

She told the court that the man was "a grown-up" who told her to get in the vehicle.

She entered the car and he drove off but returned to near her home before carrying out the sex assault.

The victim said that he started lifting up her T-shirt but she was holding onto a jumper she was wearing.

She said she was pushed from the front into the back of the car and he unzipped his jeans and her head was pushed to carry out a sex act.

The schoolgirl said that he then carried out a further sex act with her.

Advocate depute Keith Stewart QC asked the girl: "Was it something that was sore?". She replied: "Yes."

She said she had returned home and was crying.

She said she later took part in a picture identification parade and saw the man at it.

During her evidence, which she gave by a remote camera link to the courtroom, she denied that she had been phoning someone quite a lot that night before the sex assault.

Mr Stewart asked her if she had previously had a picture sent to her phone which might have worried or upset her. She said: "It happened before and I showed it to my aunty." She agreed it was a photo of a man's private parts.

The court heard that when police went to speak to the girl she was found to be "very distressed".

DNA matching Muir was found on samples taken from the girl's body and clothing.

Muir's then-partner told the court that following his detention she had later spoken to him on the phone and he said that the girl had pretended she was older than she was and had used a fake profile picture or her sister's picture after they had been in contact through an app.

Muir, 36, of The Fairways, Monktonhall, Musselburgh, had earlier denied raping the girl on October 10 or 11 in 2015 but was found guilty. He was placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

Defence counsel Simon Gilbride told the court that Muir still adhered to the position that he had adopted at his earlier trial.

He said he was assessed as posing a moderate risk of sexual re-offending and had never previously been in any trouble.