A predator who subjected two vulnerable girls to repeated sexual and physical abuse was jailed for seven years on Friday.
A court heard that Robert Maiden used grooming, manipulation and violence as he moved on from one child to the other in Edinburgh in crimes committed over a six year period. .
A judge told Maiden at the High Court in Edinburgh: "I recognise at the age of 60 you are in effect a first offender." But Lord Beckett told him that he had engaged in a course of violent and sexual conduct against vulnerable youngsters.
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The judge said: "There is no suitable alternative to a prison sentence." Maiden was told that he will be on the sex offenders' register indefinitely following the sentencing which he followed by video link to jail.
Former BT engineer Maiden, of Newhaven, Edinburgh, had denied a series of offences during an earlier trial but was convicted of six charges of abusing the girls.
He started preying on one child when she was aged 10 in December 2013 and went on to subject her to rape. He also inflicted terrifying physical assaults on the girl which saw him strangle her, grab her by the hair and push her down stairs.
As she grew older she told him she did not want the sexual abuse to occur. He said she enjoyed it but she responded that she did not. Maiden began attacking the second girl in March 2017 and kicked her during assaults. He also subjected her to sexual assault.
Prosecutor Chris Fyffe KC said that the sexual abuse of the older girl had become "normalised" - she got to the stage where she expected it to happen.
Maiden told the jury at his trial that he had been staying awake at night "wondering why they said these things". He said: "It's one of the reasons why I took early retirement. I couldn't keep on working."
Defence counsel Jonathan Crowe said: "He spent almost the entirety of his career working with BT as an engineer and then an office controller." He added: "He advises me he is keen to enrol in prison education and prison rehabilitation."
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