Charles Donnelly jailed for nine years for catalogue of sex offences in Fife

A 70-year-old man has been jailed for nine years for a catalogue of sex offences committed more than three decades ago.

Charles Donnelly repeatedly raped a younger woman and subjected a boy and girl to indecent attacks in Fife.

Judge Lady Carmichael told the pensioner: "Your offending has caused lasting harm to your victims."

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how he repeatedly assaulted and raped a younger woman between 1977 and 1981.

The victim said Donnelly was "helping himself to sex" despite her telling him "no".

He also spanked and indecently assaulted a boy on an occasion between 1976 and 1979.

Donnelly's third victim was subjected to prolonged abuse from the age of five.

Between 1983 and 1992, Donnelly molested the girl and carried out sex acts on himself in her presence.

The court heard he told the victim not to tell anyone as she would get into trouble if she did.

Donnelly pleaded guilty to four offences at the High Court last month. He was sentenced on Tuesday.

Defence counsel Michael Anderson KC said his client has had "significant difficulties of his own throughout his life".

The court heard how Donnelly was previously jailed for seven years in 2015 for historical sex offences and following his release from custody he was recalled back to prison for breaching his licence by being in the company of a child.

Lady Carmichael accepted there was "no indication" he had offended since 1994.

The judge stated: "Given the nature and extent of your offending over a number of years, and the circumstance that you breached your licence when released early from your previous sentence, I am satisfied that the normal period of licence would not be sufficient to protect the public adequately if I simply imposed a custodial sentence.

"I have also taken account of the opinion of the social worker who provided the criminal justice social work report, which is that you will need a significant period of monitoring and supervision in the community once you are released from custody."

Donnelly was handed a 14-year extended sentence, with nine years in jail and five years on licence once released back into the community.

He was also placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

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Following the court case, Detective Constable Karen Nairn said: "This was a complex and disturbing case and it is right that Donnelly now has to face the consequences of his disgraceful actions.

"My thoughts remain with the victims and their families. This conviction is a direct result of them coming forward.

"They have shown immense courage in reporting these crimes so that Donnelly has now been held accountable for his actions.

"I hope that his conviction gives them some comfort and they can try and move forward with their lives."