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Former RAF man handed extended sentence over ‘appalling’ rape of child

Michael Tonberg leaving court.
Michael Tonberg leaving court.

A former RAF technician has been handed a 13-year extended sentence after being found guilty of the “appalling” rape of a young child on multiple occasions.

Michael Tonberg, 48, sexually abused the girl at addresses including Elgin and Lossiemouth over a number of years in the 2000s and 2010s.

Tonberg appeared in the dock at the High Court in Aberdeen to be sentenced over the horrifying offences after being found guilty following a trial.

He was convicted of two charges of assaulting and raping a child while she was under the age of 12.

Tonberg was also found guilty of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards the child, and sexually assaulting her.

Additionally, he was further found guilty of downloading and possessing indecent images or pseudo-images of children.

Tonberg had denied the charges but, following his conviction, now accepts responsibility.


Defence counsel Bill Adam told the court: “Mr Tonberg worked for most of his adult life, including 15 years of service in the air force as a technician.

“Despite the case going to trial, Mr Tonberg now accepts that he did indeed abuse the complainer.

“His level of acceptance has been detailed in the social work report and he has been quite candid and open with what he disclosed.”

Mr Adam said his client had suffered childhood trauma and, although he did not have issues with alcohol or drugs, he was medicated for depression.

He accepted the offences were “appalling”, but added Tonberg had a “very limited record of previous convictions and nothing analogous”.


Judge Graham Buchanan told Tonberg: “You were convicted by the jury of what can only be described as offences involving the appalling sexual abuse over a significant period of a young child.

“You were also convicted of downloading and possessing indecent images of children.

“On the basis of the circumstances of the offences committed and the results of the risk assessment, I’m satisfied that the criteria for the imposition of an extended sentence are met.”

He imposed a 13-year extended sentence, comprising of a 10-year jail term and a further three years in the community on licence and under supervision.

The judge also made Tonberg, whose address was given as Castle Court, Lossiemouth, subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act for an indefinite period.

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