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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Sam Russell, PA & Lee Dalgetty

Former Edinburgh police officer turned lawyer jailed for abusing teenage girl

A former police officer and lawyer from Edinburgh has been sentenced to 16 years in jail for the rape and indecent assault of a teen girl over 30 years ago.

James Boyle, 69, was an officer with Cambridgeshire Police when the incidents happened between 1986 and 1991. He later became a lawyer and was working as a criminal defence barrister when he was arrested, according the Scottish Daily Express.

Judge Philip Grey said Boyle told his victim, at the time of a rape when she was under the age of 16: “I know this is wrong but I just can’t help myself.”

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Sentencing at Cambridge Crown Court on Monday, the judge said that Boyle had “evaded responsibility for such serious offending” for more than 30 years. He said the defendant had “lived a lie” and that none of his “professional accolades” would have been available to him if he had been convicted at the time.

The abuse was reported to police in 2018 after an exchange of messages on social media. Boyle was found guilty of two counts of rape, one of them when the girl was under the age of 16, and of one count of indecent assault following an earlier trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

Reading her victim personal statement to the court, the woman said that “images and memories invade (her) dreams”. She said the trial, which took place because Boyle denied the offences, was “extremely distressing and harrowing”.

The judge told Boyle that “on your instructions” the victim was cross-examined for three days. “You showed her no mercy then just as you had her at your mercy as a child,” he said.

Stephen Kamlish KC, mitigating for Boyle, said he had lost weight since being in custody, was diabetic, and suffers with hypertension, gout, anaemia and high cholesterol.

“He’s just broken really as a result of his time in prison,” Mr Kamlish said. The judge agreed that Boyle had lost “a significant amount of weight since you were incarcerated”.

He said that, as a former police officer convicted of sexual offences, Boyle’s sentence would be a “hard sentence to serve” but added: “This has been brought about by you.”

He sentenced Boyle to 16 years in prison and ordered that he pay a £4,500 contribution to prosecution costs. The defendant must sign the sex offenders’ register.

After Boyle was led to the cells, the judge turned to the victim to praise her courage.

“It takes an enormous amount of courage and perseverance to stick with it through interminable delays that really shouldn’t happen and through a long period of giving evidence,” he said. “You deserve enormous credit for having done that.”

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