A HIGH-RISK sex predator who targeted vulnerable children in the Borders has been jailed for 10 years.
A judge was told that Ewan Peddie, 44, continued to maintain his innocence despite being convicted of sexual offences against two young boys.
But Lord Beckett told Peddie at the High Court in Edinburgh that the crimes he committed were “very serious examples of the abuse of young and vulnerable children”.
The judge said Peddie had groomed one victim and taken advantage of the illness of the mother of another child.
Peddie, formerly of Hawick, was found guilty of the offences following a two-day trial at the court last year.
After he was found guilty by a jury, Peddie called out “Shame on you”, and asked: “How did they come to those verdicts?”
One victim, now aged 22, told the court that the child molester preyed on him when he was aged “around five or six” at a house in Hawick. He said: “He said if I told anybody he would kill me.”
The victim later spoke to detectives and told the court: “I don’t think I would have been able to forgive myself if I hadn’t spoken to the police.”
The court heard that in 2013 Peddie raped a boy then aged 10 at an address in the Borders. The boy’s mother said her son had “a severe learning disability”.
Following Peddie’s conviction for the two offences the case was adjourned until today (Thursday, February 11) for the preparation of a background report and he watched the sentencing proceedings via a video link to jail.
His counsel Victoria Dow said: “He maintains the position he had at trial, which is one of denial.”
She said Peddie had suffered “a very poor upbringing”.
The defence counsel said that the benefit claimant did have previous convictions but the matters currently before the court were his first “contact” sexual offences.
Peddie’s criminal record includes convictions for assault, possessing indecent images of children and breaching a court-imposed sexual offences prevention order.
Lord Beckett told Peddie he recognised he had not been convicted in the High Court before and that the offences he was dealing with occured some years ago.
The judge ordered that the sex offender should be kept under supervision for a further seven-year period as a public protection measure.
He told him that if he failed to comply with licence conditions during that time he could be returned to prison.
Lord Beckett told Peddie that he would be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.