21/Nov/2014 - Last News Update: 16:58

John McCallum jailed for raping twin nieces

Category: Scotland

Published: 30th Sep 2013 15:56:42

A man who raped his twin nieces has been jailed for 10 years.

John McCallum, 53, abused Rachel Steadwood and Tracy Brown, now 40, on various occasions between 1978 and 1987 at different addresses in Scotland.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that the sisters, who have waived their right to anonymity, were just five years old when the abuse started.

McCallum was convicted earlier this month following a trial. Sentence had been deferred pending reports.

The court heard that McCallum, who was represented by one of Scotland's top defence lawyers, still denies his guilt and claims that Frances McMenamin QC and her assistants did not do their jobs properly.

He also felt that female jurors during his trial were prejudiced against him.

Judge Lord Boyd told McCallum, from Loanhead, he had no other option but to send him to prison. He was also put on the sex offenders register "indefinitely".

He robbed me of a childhood and he's robbed me of having proper relationships”

He added: "I note from the social inquiry report that you believe you were convicted because of the presence of young women on the jury and because your defence team failed to act properly.

"However, you were very ably represented by senior and junior counsel. The offences for which you have been convicted of are grave ones and must be marked by a substantial period of imprisonment."

During his trial, the court heard how the offences first came to light 15 years ago when one of McCallum's victims started to experience flashbacks of what happened to her as a child.

She told her doctor and asked for counselling - eventually reporting McCallum to the authorities.

The two women told the jury how the father-of-two molested them during visits to a travellers' site in Edinburgh and at a house in Loanhead, Midlothian, and elsewhere.

The trial heard how he drove a lorry looking for work laying tarmac and that some of the abuse took place in the cab.

Ms Brown said that on other occasions, while selling logs for firewood, he would take advantage of her in his van.

The trial also heard that one of the sisters was just six years old when McCallum raped her on a caravan bed in 1979 or 1980.

John McCallum is a predatory individual who subjected his victims to a significant period of abuse throughout their teenage years and young adult lives”

The court heard that McCallum ignored her tears and pleas for him to stop.

Ms Steadwood told how she was raped between August 1980 and August 1982 when she was just seven or eight years old.

McCallum, who was president of a children's boxing club, denied the charges of rape and four charges of indecent behaviour going back to August 1978.

As the jury returned their verdicts, he interrupted and said he wanted to take a lie detector test.

Speaking after the case, Ms Brown, a businesswoman who owns a cafe, said: "He robbed me of a childhood and he's robbed me of having proper relationships.

"I've been on medication, like anti depressants, for most of my life. There's been drugs and bulimia and I've even tried to take my own life... that's what he did to me.

"Waiting for the trial was incredibly stressful. The police were great and I have a panic button in the cafe.

"But now it's done and I want to move on. I have my husband, my kids, my business. He's not in charge of our lives anymore. We are."

On Monday, Frances McMenamin QC said her client still maintained his innocence and that she could not say much in mitigation about the offences he had committed.

She said McCallum could not read or write and was previously held in respect by fellow members of the community.

She added: "He is a businessman who has obtained everything in his life through sheer hard work."

As he was being led away to begin his sentence, McCallum said: "I'm an innocent man. I'm an innocent man. I'm getting 10 years and I'm an innocent man."

Following the sentencing, Det Ch Insp Kenny Gray said: "John McCallum is a predatory individual who subjected his victims to a significant period of abuse throughout their teenage years and young adult lives.

"If not for the courage of these women in coming forward, his offences may have gone undetected and I would like to once again praise both Tracy and Rachel for their bravery during our investigation.

"I sincerely hope that today's sentence encourages other victims of sexual crimes, who may be suffering in silence, to come forward and report their abuse to police.

"Police Scotland is committed to keeping people safe and will thoroughly investigate any reports of sexual abuse, regardless of when the offences took place."

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2013. John McCallum jailed for raping twin nieces [Online] (Updated 30th Sep 2013)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1509824/John-McCallum-jailed-for-raping-twin-nieces [Accessed 21st Nov 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Santander bank worker Eamon Coyle jailed for £102,000 fraud

    A former bank worker who defrauded his employer of more than £100,000 has been sent to prison for nine months.
  • Wave power firm Pelamis calls in administrators

    Wave power technology firm Pelamis is calling in administrators after failing to secure development funding.
  • Davis Cup final: Wawrinka beats Tsonga to gives Swiss lead

    Stan Wawrinka beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the opening singles rubber of the Davis Cup final to give Switzerland a 1-0 lead over France in Lille.
  • Idris Elba planning Luther album

    Idris Elba is planning to release an album of music inspired by his BBC detective character Luther.
  • China rate cut spurs markets on to new highs

    The cut in Chinese interest rates and comments from Europe's central bank chief have lifted global markets.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com