A former miner who subjected girls to sexual abuse decades ago in Dalkeith was jailed for eight years today after a court heard that victims still show the scars of the ordeal.
William Mailer raped two of his underage victims, one of whom he had plied with drink, and attempted to rape the third.
A judge told Mailer, 71, at the High Court in Edinburgh: “You were found guilty of six charges of serious sexual assault, including three charges of rape.”
Lord Glennie told the ex-HGV driver and milkman: “These offences happened nearly 40 years ago when you were in your thirties and early forties.”
The judge said it was clear from victim impact statements provided to him that Mailer’s actions had been seriously damaging.
He said: “They still show the scars even today.”
Lord Glennie told Mailer that the nature of the offending against the girl victims required the imposition of “a significant custodial sentence”. He said a non-custodial sentence would be “wholly inappropriate”.
He said he took into account that the pensioner had been assessed as now posing a low risk, his age and his health problems.
The judge told Mailer that he would be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
Mailer, of Castings House, Castings Avenue, Falkirk, in Stirlingshire, had earlier denied six charges of indecent assault and rape but was found guilty of them all.
His first victim was aged 12 or 13 when she was attacked in a car at Holyrood Park, in Edinburgh, after she was given drink.
Mailer exposed himself and grabbed her by the neck and tried to get her to carry out a sex act during the incident between 1976 and 1978.
He assaulted the girl again and tried to rape her at his then home in Woodburn Street, Dalkeith, in Midlothian, after keeping her school bag after committing the initial crime.
The girl was induced to attend at his house to collect the bag but was pushed into a bedroom and onto a bed during the assault.
During the same period he raped another girl who was aged 11 or 12 at the house in Dalkeith.
The youngster was plied with alcohol and while she was intoxicated and asleep he removed clothing and had sex with her. He continued to rape her after she awoke.
Mailer indecently assaulted and twice raped another underage girl during the 1980s.
The victim, now 42, told his trial that she would come to Scotland from her home in England to stay for holidays with her grandmother.
But Mailer, who she said was a “touchy, touchy, feely, feely person”, preyed on the girl at a house in Bonnyrigg, in Midlothian.
The woman, who said Mailer worked as a milk man or delivery driver, estimated that she was aged about 11 when he had sex with her.
“He just used to say things like he loved me, that I was a special little girl,” she said.
“Because he told me that was what was supposed to happen I believed him,” she told the court.
The woman said Mailer had carried out other sex acts with her as a child.
On one occasion he had taken her and other children to Portobello. The others were told to get out of the car to pick flowers and she was made to carry out a sex act on him.
The woman told the court: “Once I realised it was wrong I felt guilty and ashamed.”
She told advocate depute Keith Stewart QC that it stopped when she was 13.
The mother-of-two told the court: “I am not in a relationship now. I can’t hold down a relationship.”
Defence solicitor advocate Jim Stephenson said Mailer continued to deny the offence but realised he would be going to jail.
He said: “He is a man who suffers very, very poor health.”
Mr Stephenson said Mailer had been assessed as posing a minimum risk of general offending and a low risk of sexual offending.
“Any custodial sentence is going to have a large effect on the remaining years he has left to live,” said Mr Stephenson.