A veteran who was part of the Queen’s guard at Balmoral has been jailed for nine years after carrying out a campaign of child abuse.
John Paul Hoy repeatedly molested and raped two girls and indecently assaulted a third over a 10 year period from the mid to late 1980s.
Now 46, Hoy was 12 when he began targeting the girls – one as young as seven – in his home city of Edinburgh.
Judge Lady Scott said he had “dominated and terrified” his victims.
She said: “These offences constitute a very serious and persistent course of sexual abuse of children.
“You blighted their lives and caused significant and obvious damage, especially to the second victim who spoke to her childhood being taken from her.”
“The damage to her was all to evident in her evidence, as indeed was her bravery.”
The judge said she took into account that Hoy was also a child when a large part of the offending occurred, and noted that his lengthy Army service had left him struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Hoy, of Edinburgh, had denied the 11 charges of rape, indecent conduct and indecent assault but was found guilty after trial.
He was acquitted of one charge of raping a girl on occasions between 2004 and 2006 after lodging a special defence of alibi. 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.
During the trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, one of Hoy’s victims told jurors she was “living in terror some days”.
Another described the abuse and said it was like “red hot pain”, adding: “I didn’t have a childhood. My childhood was taken away from.”
Defence counsel Iain McSporran QC said Hoy continued to maintain his innocence.
He was placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
An NSPCC Scotland spokesperson said: “Hoy subjected these young girls to terrifying ordeals, and the crimes he committed against them was abhorrent. They have shown immense bravery in speaking out.
“Cases such as these show that people who experience sexual abuse will be listened to and justice can be achieved. It is so important that these girls receive the support they need to recover.
“NSPCC Scotland works to prevent abuse and neglect and anyone worried about a child or about past abuse can contact our helpline to seek advice.”
Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000, while Childline is there for young people on 0800 1111 or via www.childline.org.uk