A man who began sexually abusing two girls when he was at primary school in the 1970s has escaped a jail term.
George Fraser, now 43, from Oakley, Fife, was aged 10, when he started his five-year-long series of attacks on his young victims in Dundee.
Temporary judge Edward Bowen QC placed Fraser on probation for two years after describing the case as one of the most difficult he had ever dealt with.
Fraser was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register at a previous hearing.
The victims, who were aged eight and nine when the abuse began, stormed out of the High Court in Edinburgh, vowing to appeal against the sentence.
The court had earlier heard how Fraser began molesting one of the girls when he was 10 and she was nine.
Two years later he began abusing the second girl, who was also nine at the time.
The offences were committed between November 1974 and October 1979 at addresses in Dundee, sometimes twice a week.
Fraser, who is now married with children, initially denied the abuse but changed his plea to guilty after hearing the first victim give evidence at trial.
Rape charges against him were dropped.
After receiving background reports and a psychological assessment, Mr Bowen told Fraser: “The case in front of me is just about the most difficult I have ever had to consider in a long time on the bench.”
The judge said the charges were still serious, although less than he originally faced.
“The fact that they were committed 28 years ago, on one view, does not and should not affect the way the courts look at that,” he said.
However, he added that Fraser had been under 16 and there was little before the court to make it clear what his own situation and “mental well-being” were like at the time.
The offences only came to light recently when the victims spoke to each other and realised they had both been targeted by Fraser.
The High Court in Perth heard earlier this year that both women have struggled to come to terms with what happened to them, with one of them attempting suicide.
Fraser would molest the girls when he knew there were no adults in the house, taking one girl or the other into a bedroom while the other children played nearby.
Fraser claimed his own childhood had been unhappy and that he had suffered a major personality change as a result of a road accident when he was eight years old.
Outside the court, one of the victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “I never went through all those years and through all this time it’s gone on for that judge to hand down two years’ probation,” she said.
“I would never encourage anyone else to go to the authorities over something like this. The justice system is a joke.”
She added: “If it takes me until my last breath we will get justice for this.”
The woman vowed to start a campaign to get Fraser’s sentence increased and added: “I will dance on his grave.”
A spokesman for the victims insisted Fraser had “played the system”.
“There’s really no justice,” he said.
“Those two have gone through hell because of this and they’re still going through hell.”