A 15-YEAR-OLD girl snared her ageing rapist by recording him confessing to how he subjected her to a series of sickening sexual assaults, a court has heard.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, taped 89-year-old James Graham talking about how he preyed on her when she was aged between eight and 13.

A jury sitting at the High Court in Edinburgh heard the recording and heard Graham talk about how he placed sweets on his victim before performing sex acts on her.

The court heard how the recording was used by police to bring the retired miner to justice. Detectives also discovered how Graham repeatedly raped the girl.

He also sexually assaulted the child. Graham also made explicit comments “intentionally... for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification or for the humiliation of” his victim.

The story emerged on Tuesday following a trial at the court in which Graham, of Wallyford, denied any wrongdoing.

Bail continued

But jurors found him guilty on four charges of rape, sexual assault and making sexual comments towards the child.

Following the verdicts, defence solicitor advocate Iain McSporran KC asked judge Alison Stirling to continue his client’s bail.

It emerged at the end of his trial that Graham had no previous convictions.

Judge Stirling continued Graham’s bail and he left the dock to sit with family members who came to court to support him.

The judge told Graham to co-operate with a court-appointed social worker who was going to prepare a report about his background.

Thanking jurors for their service, judge Stirling told them that Graham was being granted bail because of his age and personal circumstances.

Speaking of Graham, she said: “He is inevitably going to be the subject of a custodial sentence.”

Polo mints

During proceedings, the court heard how Graham started abusing the girl at a location in Wallyford in 2014 and the abuse continued for another five years.

The court heard that the girl later tried to gather evidence which proved Graham’s guilt and made a recording of him confessing to his crimes. She asked him about what he did to her.

Jurors were played the recording. The court heard that Graham said he didn’t want to “embarrass” her but then made reference to the incidents involving sweets.

He said: “We did some stupid stuff with the polo mints didn’t we.”

Police later obtained the recording and Graham was arrested and brought to court.

In her closing speech, prosecutor Margaret Barron urged jurors to convict Graham of the crimes on the indictment.

She said: “You have sufficient, reliable and credible evidence against the accused to convict him.

“I invite you to find the accused guilty of the charges against him.”

She said that the recording made by Graham’s victim corroborated her direct evidence.

'I am relying on his age'

Speaking about the tape, Ms Barron said: “The accused actively takes part in the conversation. He controls the conversation. The accused mentions polo mints and how he didn’t want to embarrass her.”

Following the verdicts, Ms Barron submitted a statement from Graham’s victim to judge Stirling which detailed the impact that the accused’s offending had had on her.

The lawyer also confirmed that Graham had no previous convictions.

Mr McSporran said that his client’s crimes would “inevitably” lead to him going to prison but the court was obliged to call for reports given that Graham had not previously offended.

Mr McSporran added: “He is 89 years old. Notwithstanding his great age and the fact that he has reached that age without troubling the authorities, I would ask for his bail to be continued.

“I am relying on his age and that the time would allow him to arrange for the future care of his wife and family.

“I would submit that the public interest would not be harmed on this occasion and bail be granted for the preparation of reports.”

Graham was then granted bail. Sentence was deferred for the court to obtain a report.

Graham will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on March 6.