March 2012

Pervert, 82, will die in jail for 24 years of “brutal, sadistic and depraved” child abuse

AN 82-year-old serial child rapist who enjoyed torturing his victims will die in jail.

Thomas Riley brutalised eight youngsters over 24 years.

Lord Pentland jailed him for nine years yesterday and told him the victims’ evidence had shown him to be “brutal, sadistic and depraved”.

The defence said Riley had serious health problems and would not live long enough to be released.

Riley looked the picture of respectability in his mac and flat cap when he came to court for his trial.

But jurors heard how the old soldier threatened to nail one young girl’s hands to a door, while “rambling about Jesus”.

Riley also tied the girl, who had not reached her teens, to a clothes pole.

He then threw lit matches at her, telling her she would have been burned as a witch if she had lived 200 years earlier.

Another victim said he was younger than nine when Riley raped him as another man held his head, and yet another said the former Army boxer raped and molested her.

Riley, whose brutality was often “fuelled by drink”, refused to admit his guilt and forced victims to relive their ordeals in court. He was convicted of six charges of rape, sodomy and assault and three of lewd and libidinous practices.

Lord Pentland described the offences, committed between 1965 and 1989, as appalling.

He told Riley: “This was a prolonged course of violent physical and sexual abuse.

“The evidence of the complainers at the trial made it abundantly clear that you were brutal, sadistic and depraved.

“It is no exaggeration to say that you ruined these children’s childhood. In the circumstances, a substantial custodial penalty must be imposed.”

Riley, of Edinburgh, was also placed on the sex offenders’ register. He hung his head as guards led him to the cells at the High Court in Dumbarton.

He would have to live to be 88 to have any chance of release. Mark Stewart QC, defending, said: “It is clear that he is likely to spend the rest of his life in custody.”