A man who laughed after being found guilty of repeatedly raping a child has a “genuine” feeling of remorse, his lawyer told a court today.
James Freeman, 50, was jailed seven years at the hearing by judge Simon Collins QC at the High Court in Edinburgh.
The court had previously heard how Freeman wished he had a time machine so he could travel back in time to stop himself from preying on the woman.
Jurors heard how Freeman had abused the then child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, between May 2013 and 2017.
A jury heard how he first sexually assaulted the girl at a caravan park in Sutherland when she was aged just 10 or 11-years-old.
He raped the child on various occasions at addresses in Aberdeen, Banff and the north of Scotland when she was aged just 11 or 12.
He also raped her, on various occasions, while she was between 13 and 15, at locations in Banff, Nairn and even a derelict building in Portsoy.
The court heard how Freeman pushed and held the child down on a bed, tied her arms together, blindfolded her and raped her.
No option but jail
Today, judge Collins told Freeman, who observed proceedings via video link from jail, that he had no other option but to send him to prison for seven years.
Ordering Freeman to be also supervised by the authorities for three years following his release from custody, judge Collins said: “You were convicted of three charges of sexual assault following trial.
“The jury heard from the complainer in the case and it is plain that they accepted her account.
“Your actions showed that you groomed her and your actions also show that you are responsible for a gross and prolonged violation of the position of trust that you had found yourself in.
“Clearly a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal available to this court.”
Laughed as he was taken to prison
At earlier proceedings, Freeman had denied the charges against him and did not react as the jury returned their verdicts.
The court had also heard defence advocate Bert Kerrigan QC say that his client had a history of mental health problems and had previously been treated in hospital for his issues.
He added: “If there was some sort of time machine available, he would use it to ensure that he would not do the actions to which he was convicted of.
“However, there is no time machine and he must face up to what he has done.”
Today, Mr Kerrigan urged judge Collins to consider Freeman’s expressions of remorse when passing sentence.
He added: “I had a Zoom consultation with Mr Freeman recently and he was emphatic in his concern for his conduct which caused so much upset to his victim.
“That was in my submission not a fake expression of remorse – that was a genuine expression of remorse.
“His expression of remorse was not made simply for his situation but out of a sense that he is responsible for his own conduct.”
However, judge Collins told Freeman that jail was the only option available to him and that he would spend the rest of his life on the Sex Offenders Register.
For all the latest court cases in Aberdeen as well as crime and breaking incidents, join our Facebook group.