‘Wicked’ child rapist to appeal 15-year sentence

A man jailed for 15 years after being convicted of an “unspeakably wicked” catalogue of sex offences against children, including rape, has launched a bid to slash his sentence.

Eric Rafferty, 70, has lodged an appeal against his 15-year jail term.

A spokesman for the Scottish Court and Tribunal Service confirmed the case will call at the appeal court in Edinburgh next week.

Rafferty was found guilty after a trial at the High Court in Aberdeen earlier this year – and was later handed the jail term by Judge Lord Uist.

He denied the allegations against him, but was convicted of two charges of rape which involved him assaulting two girls over a number of years.

The offences, which began in the 1980s, took place over an eight-year period at addresses in the North-east and involved four young girls.

Rafferty was also convicted of a charge of attempting to rape one of the girls on various occasions over more than five years, as well as four charges of using lewd libidinous and indecent practices.

Rafferty was originally reported by one of his victims in the 1990s, but it was more than two decades before he faced justice.

On sentencing Lord Uist told Rafferty: “These offences consisted of calculated, systematic and depraved sexual abuse of these children when the opportunity arose for you to engage in such conduct.

“These were unspeakably wicked crimes and your victims have all been deeply affected by what you did to them.”

And the judge told him that due to the “gravity” of the offences he would have to impose a “very long sentence”.

Meanwhile, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Scotland said on Rafferty’s sentencing he had carried out a “campaign of depraved and horrific abuse against children”.

The organisation also said: “This case sends out the message once again that child abuse will not be tolerated, no matter when the offences took place.”

Rafferty was also placed on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period.