A former soldier who was part of the Queen’s guard at Balmoral has been jailed today after carrying out a campaign of child abuse.
John Paul Hoy repeatedly raped two girls and indecently assaulted a third during a decade-long crime spree in his home city of Edinburgh between 1986 and 1996.
However, he was acquitted of one charge when he argued he could not have committed the offence as he was keeping watch over the Queen’s royal residence on Deeside when the alleged incident took place.
Hoy, now aged 46, was aged just 12 when he began committing sex offences against younger children. The opportunistic predator molested victims and went on to rape two of the girls at houses in the city.
Hoy, of Saughton Mains Street, Edinburgh, had denied a string of charges during a trial but was found guilty of a total of 11 offences – four offences of rape, two of indecent assault and five of indecent conduct.
He was acquitted of a further rape charge against a girl aged 14 or 15 allegedly committed at a house in Edinburgh between June 2004 and June 2006.
Hoy had lodged a special defence of alibi covering part of that period stating that he was stationed at Balmoral with the Army at the time.
He told his trial at the High Court in Edinburgh: “We were part of the Queen’s Royal guard at Balmoral so it was pomp and circumstance, but also with guard duties.”
Hoy’s first victim was aged nine when he began molesting her in 1986 and she went on to suffer years of abuse, continuing after he joined the Army in 1992.
The victim told the court that she was regularly sexually assaulted and raped and added: “I was a little girl. I was scared. I was living in terror some days.”
Another woman who was abused by Hoy from the age of seven in 1988 said: “I didn’t have a childhood. My childhood was taken away from me.”
A third victim was indecently assaulted by him over a four year period beginning in January 1989 when she was nine. The abuse started during a game of hide and seek.
Hoy had denied the child abuse and said that being accused of it made him “physically sick”.
He said: “Nobody in this room or in that room (the jury housed at a cinema) knows what it is like to be accused of these allegations. It completely destroys a person. It is not just me it destroys, it is other people.”
After Hoy was found guilty of the offences the trial judge, Lady Scott, told him: “You have been convicted of a number of offences of a very serious course of conduct involving sexual abuse and rape of children.”
She remanded Hoy, who had been on bail since November 2018, in custody ahead of sentencing next month.
Hoy was put on the sex offenders’ register.
The police later issued a statement welcoming the jury’s verdict.
Detectives from Police Scotland’s Public Protection Unit in Edinburgh began an investigation into Hoy after a woman came forward to report the sexual abuse Hoy had subjected her to.
Detective Sergeant Alan Sharp, of the unit, said: “Hoy’s behaviour over an extended period of time was deplorable with no thought of the suffering it caused his young victims.
“I would like to commend the victims who bravely came forward and assisted the police. The guilty verdict is testament to the evidence they provided and the investigative work carried out by officers.
“We treat all reports of sexual crime – no matter when the offence happened – with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity to bring perpetrators of such crimes to justice. Anyone who has been subjected to abuse should feel confident in coming forward.”
Anyone with concerns can call the police on 101 or reach out anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.