A teenage stock car racer who sexually assaulted two young girls has been jailed for three years and nine months.
James Dillon (18), raped and abused one little girl on various occasions between October 2014 and October 2016 at a house in Dalkeith.
The High Court in Livingston heard how she was just eight-years-old when Dillon started the abuse against her.
The sportsman also subjected another eight-year-old girl to two sexual assaults, also in Dalkeith, between September 2014 and September 2015.
Dillon, of Edinburgh, denied any wrong doing at a trial. But jurors convicted him of rape and sexual assault charges.
He was jailed today (Wednesday) following a hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh. Sentence had been deferred for judge Lord Summers to obtain a report on Dillon’s character.
After hearing defence advocate David Nicolson saying there was “no risk” of his client committing another sexual offence, Lord Summers said there was no other option but to send him to prison.
He said: “At the time you committed these offences you were young and you are still are a young man.
“The testimony of the two young girls was heartbreaking testimony.”
Dillon competes in stock car racing and is part of the Mayfield Mob team with his father, who is also called James.
At proceedings earlier this year, a jury heard how Dillon committed the offences when he was just 13-years-old.
He had denied raping one of the girls and also pled not guilty to sexually assaulting another child.
On August 30, a jury took just over four hours to return majority verdicts finding Dillon guilty of both charges.
Both girls gave evidence that he exposed himself to them in private before committing the sexual offences against them.
On Wednesday, Mr Nicolson urged Lord Summers to show leniency to his client.
He said that social workers had concluded that Dillon didn’t pose a future risk to public safety.
Mr Nicolson added: “There are many positive aspects in his life. He is in good physical health and he has no drug issues.
“He has a good friendship and family structure.
“The factors indicate there is no risk of sexual recidivism. These are positive factors.
“He’s just turned 18. He’s just a boy. He does not require a long term sentence.”
Passing sentence, Lord Summers also said he was following appeal court guidance in his sentencing of Dillon.