January 2013

Child rapist Michael McNeill has 14-year jail term cut

A man who was jailed for 14 years for repeatedly raping a three (3) yr old brother and sister has had two years cut from his prison term on appeal.

Michael McNeill, 56, from Greenock, was convicted last August of raping the girl between 1982 and 1989 and her brother between 1981 and 1989.

His appealed the length of his sentence on the grounds it was “excessive”.

Appeal judges agreed his low-risk of re-offending merited a lesser jail term and cut McNeil’s sentence to 12 years.

Following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, McNeill was also convicted of sexually abusing the girl and making sexual remarks towards her between May 1982 and December 1989.

Lives destroyed

The former shipyard worker was also found guilty of sexually abusing the boy between November 1981 and March 1989.

In evidence, McNeill’s victims, who cannot be named, told how their lives had been destroyed by the abuse.

Jailing the 56-year-old, judge Lord Boyd told McNeill he seemed to regard the children as “sexual playthings” and that they had gone on to have considerable problems with drugs.

McNeill appealed the length of his sentence at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

His solicitor advocate Iain Paterson argued that the sentence imposed was “excessive”.

He told the court: “It is readily accepted that these offences were extremely serious matters.”

The solicitor advocate said the crimes against the children were perpetrated in the 1980s and McNeill had been in no further trouble since then.

Mr Paterson argued that the passage of time, a supportive family and ill health would point to a reduction in the risk of re-offending.

Lady Paton, who heard the appeal with Lord Mackay, said they would reduce McNeill’s prison sentence to a 12-year term.

‘Detrimental effect’

She said: “This was a horrific catalogue of abuse inflicted of both these young children over a protracted period of time.

“The effect on the children has been serious, detrimental and long-standing.”

The judge said that taking into account the amount of time that has elapsed since the offending, the absence on any further offending, his age, health and supportive family, the risk of further crimes was now lower than if McNeill had been sentenced within a few years of them happening.

Lady Paton said that in the circumstances they had come to the view that the sentence imposed on McNeill was excessive.

August 2012

Paedophile repeatedly raped three-year-old brother and sister

A paedophile repeatedly raped a brother and sister from the age of three years old.

Michael McNeill was convicted of the sexual abuse that took place during the 1980s over an eight-year period.

The 56-year-old first raped the girl when she was three in 1982, the High Court in Glasgow heard on Thursday.

McNeill, of Belville Street, Greenock, began abusing the boy the previous year when his victim was also aged three.

Lord Boyd sentenced the sex offender to 14 years in jail for the catalogue of abuse, which continued until 1989.

The judge told McNeill: “You have been found guilty of abusing these two young children. You raped the girl when she was just three and abused the boy.

“You regarded them as sexual playthings. They have had trouble with drugs and we will never know how much of that is down to your behaviour toward them. You continue to insist you are innocent and you show no remorse.”

McNeill was placed on the sex offenders register on Thursday after he was convicted of raping the girl, who is now 33, on various occasions between 1982 and 1989. McNeill was also convicted of sexual abusing her and making sexual remarks towards her between May 1982 and December 1989.

The former shipyard worker was found guilty of sodomising her and sexually abusing her brother on various occasions between November 1981 and March 1989.

In evidence, McNeill’s victims told how their lives had been destroyed by the abuse.

July 2012

Pervert found guilty

FOUND GUILTY: McNeill pictured outside court

A GREENOCK man has been found guilty of committing a catalogue of horrific sexual abuse against two children.

Former shipyard worker Michael McNeill was this afternoon convicted at the High Court in Glasgow of carrying out a string of historical sexual offences which took place between 1981 and 1989 at an address in Greenock’s Octavia Court.

During two harrowing days of evidence at the trial, before Lord Boyd, McNeill’s victims told how their lives had been destroyed by the abuse.

One of them, a woman now aged 33, wept as she told how McNeill, 56, had raped her when she was just three years old.

McNeill’s other victim, a man now aged 34, described how he had tried to take his own life and became hooked on drugs after being molested by former Scott Lithgow employee McNeill, who had denied all the charges.

McNeill has now been remanded in custody to await sentence.