A convicted sex offender who raped a girl and carried out a serious indecent attack on a boy during a 15-year catalogue of abuse against children was jailed for eights years today.
Stephen Masser, 66, of Ard Mor Croit, New Aberdour, near Fraserburgh, in Aberdeenshire, also carried out physical violence on the girl who was beaten and hit with a potato peeler and molested her when she was a teenager.
During his offending which lasted from 1982 until 1997 he also beat three other boys at houses in Aberdeen and the Aberdeenshire area.
A judge told Masser at the High Court in Edinburgh that the sentence he had to impose on him had to reflect the serious nature of his offending and the harm he caused.
Lord Woolman said it was evident that Masser’s behaviour had had “a profound effect” on the lives of his victims.
The judge told Masser that he took into account his own troubled upbringing and abuse he had suffered as a child.
He also took into consideration the rapist’s long-term health problems and allowed him to remain seated in the dock as he sentenced him.
But the judge added: “Principally, however, I must have due regard to the duration of the offending, the number of victims and the gravity of the charges.”
He told Masser that he would be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
During his earlier trial Masser had denied the worst of his sex crimes against children and claimed there was “a border” he would not cross.
He admitted he had perpetrated some of the lesser abuse against children and said: “It was tremendously wrong.
“I have no explanation for why it happened. I just knew it should not have happened,” he told his trial.
He told his counsel Brian McConnachie QC: “I would never have gone as far as she accused me of doing.”
He also claimed that he would never have raped his boy victim and said: “I have been raped. I know what the pain is like.”
Masser alleged that his male accuser had done drugs “quite a lot” and could be “really weird”. He claimed that victims had “exaggerated” in their evidence.
He told the court that he had been taught not to lose control in any situation. Advocate depute Paul Kearney asked him how that self control was working when he was sexually abusing victims.
Masser replied: “That’s something I could not control. What I did, I don’t know why I did it.”
The woman, now aged 36, who was subjected to abuse by Masser from the age of seven rejected defence suggestions that the rape did not take place. She said: “That’s not true. It did happen.”
The woman had later gone to police in England over another matter and revealed that she had been sexually abused in childhood. A detective who spoke to her said: “She was really very upset. She was very distressed.”
The English police contacted their Scottish counterparts prompting the investigation into Masser.
Masser was earlier found guilty of 12 charges including rape, indecent assault, indecency and assault.
Following his conviction the court heard that he had been previously jailed in the 1970s for indecent assault and assault in England.
Mr McConnachie told the court that it was accepted that there was no alternative to a prison sentence for Masser’s offending in Scotland.
He said: “The impact of that sentence on him will be far more severe than it would be for someone younger and fitter.”