Printer Friendly

Victim says rapist's sentence feels like a 'slap in the face'.

Byline: IAN BUNTING

"Not a day goes by where I don't think about what happened; my life has been tainted forever."

Those are the heartbreaking words of a distressed victim of a Coatbridge paedophile's historical sexual offences in an exclusive conversation with the Advertiser.

Dad-of-one James McLaughlan portrayed himself as an upstanding member of the community, regularly attending church in the town.

However, the 57-year-old hid a dark secret for more than four decades - he was a child rapist.

Last month his appalling crimes finally caught up with him and he was caged for fiveand-a-half years following the climax of a trial at the High Court in Glasgow where he admitted two counts of rape and assault from the late 1970s.

McLaughlan was sentenced to four years on each rape and assault charge, five-and-a-half years for a lewd and libidinous charge he pled guilty to, and one year on a further lewd and libidinous behaviour charge where he was found guilty by majority verdict.

But as his sentences are to run concurrently, McLaughlan will spend a total of five-anda-half years behind bars - an outcome one of his victims has labelled "a slap in the face".

The irate mum - who was at primary school at the time of the horrific crimes - told the Advertiser: "I am outraged at the length of time he has been jailed for.

"We have been waiting a long time for his punishment and I had to give evidence during the trial in court, which just brought back all of the horrible memories.

"I spent a full day in the dock and had to relive everything all over again.

"McLaughlan showed no remorse whatsoever when he was sentenced.

"I cannot understand how his sentences all amounted to 14-and-a-half years in prison but he is only going to serve five-and-a-half years as they are running concurrently.

"I nearly stood up in court and said, 'I'm the victim here, not him'.

"It feels like a slap in the face."

McLaughlan's vile offences were first reported in September 2017, with the female victim who spoke to us concerned there may be others who were targeted by the beast.

She said: "He used to live near two schools and was always in and out of church.

"I worry that there could be other victims out there but, if there are, hopefully the fact he has now been jailed will encourage them to come forward."

The impact McLaughlan's horrific crimes had on the woman is still being felt four decades later.

She explained: "I have had a horrendous time my whole life and the impact this has had on my family and I has been massive.

"It is all still very raw and the fact the court case dragged on for years meant I was thinking about it all non-stop.

"Not a day goes by where I don't think about what happened; my life has been tainted forever."

Responding to the anger voiced over the length of McLaughlan's sentence, a judicial service spokesperson said: "When deciding a sentence, a judge must take into account the unique circumstances of each particular case.

"The judge will carefully consider the relevant law and the facts that are presented to the court by both the prosecution and by the defence.

"The judge will also consider any background reports that are made available to the court."

CAPTION(S):

Behind bars James McLaughlan showed "no remorse" as he was jailed
COPYRIGHT 2020 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2020 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:IAN BUNTING
Publication:Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser (Lanarkshire, Scotland)
Date:Feb 12, 2020
Words:572
Previous Article:Battered man in common close.
Next Article:Your views on the news.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters