‘Deplorable’ Edinburgh child rapist jailed for molesting girl, 11, and little boy in past sex crimes
A convicted rapist was jailed for a further six years on Thursday after past sex crimes against children committed nearly four decades ago caught up with him.
Thomas Nelson abused an 11-year-old girl and carried out a serious sex act on a little boy when he was aged five or six.
Nelson, 57, a former soldier, molested the girl at an address in Tullibody and at a park in the Clackmannanshire town and at open ground in the nearby Ochil hills between November 1979 and November the following year.
The sex predator carried out a serious indecency offence against the boy in a single incident between July 1978 and the summer of the following year at a farm road outside Tullibody after taking off his lower clothes.
After jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh convicted him of two indecency offences against the children and an assault on the girl they were informed that Nelson was already in prison serving a 12-year sentence for further physical and sexual violence against other youngsters.
The court heard that Nelson had frightened victims into silence after perpetrating his crimes against them.
A judge told him: “You were a teenager at the time of these offences. You knew your actions were wrong.”
Lady Wise said Nelson’s previous convictions included those for “a deplorable series of offences against children.”
She said he appeared to have cunningly planned and executed the abuse of the children in the late 1970s and it had a considerable impact on them.
The judge placed Nelson, a prisoner in Edinburgh, on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely and told him that his latest six year sentence would be served consecutively to the jail term he is currently serving.
Nelson was jailed in 2017 at the same court for a string of offences against other children, including rape and allowing a child to be raped by others.
He abused four youngsters over a decade beginning in the mid 1990s at houses in the Granton, Broomhouse and Wester Hailes areas of Edinburgh and at an address in Clackmannanshire.
During the horrifying abuse he provided a girl aged between four and six to other men so they could have sex with her and he also had intercourse with the child.
He assaulted two boys, one of whom had a gun put to his head and hot spoons applied to his skin.
Defence counsel Tim Niven-Smith told the court that following his latest convictions further imprisonment for Nelson was “inevitable”, but pointed out that at the time of the crimes against the girl and boy he was a teenager.
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Former soldier Thomas Nelson, 54, committed a catalogue of physical and sexual violence against child victims.
A judge told Nelson at the High Court in Edinburgh: “The course of conduct in which you indulged towards the children in question was quite appalling.”
Lord Uist said that two of the six charges he was found guilty on were “particularly despicable”.
The judge said: “They involved you providing on several occasions a girl aged between four and six to other men so they could have sexual intercourse with her and on one occasion you had sexual intercourse with her yourself.”
Lord Uist told ex-chef Nelson: “You no doubt are aware that the offences of which you were convicted are of such a grave nature that they must attract a long prison sentence.”
Nelson, formerly of Pilrig Street, Edinburgh, had denied two charges of raping the girl in 2002 and 2003, a charge of assaulting her by permitting and encouraging other males to have sex with her and rape her between 2001 and 2003 and a charge of physically assaulting her.
He was found guilty of all the offences apart from one rape charge on which the jury returned a not proven verdict.
He was also found guilty of assaulting two young boys, one of whom he put a gun to his head and put hot spoons on his skin.
He was also convicted of an indecency offence against another girl when she was 13 or 14 in 2006 and 2007.
Nelson committed his catalogue of offending at houses in the Granton, Broomhouse and Wester Hailes areas of Edinburhg and at an address in Clackmannan, in Clackmannanshire, between 1994 and 2007.
During his trial he admitted a further four charges of neglecting children who were exposed to drugs and weapons.
Lord Uist told jurors at the conclusion of the trial that it had a “particularly unpleasant and distasteful case”.
The jury was played footage of the rape victim, who is now 19, being questioned earlier about her experiences at the hands of Nelson who she said terrified her.
She said Nelson’s friends would hit her and give her bruises and leave “loads of marks” on her back and arms. She said: “I have kept it all this time to myself.”
She said: “They did some more serious things. They had sex with me but I was only five years old. That’s not right. I was far too young.”
“I was trying to push them off but I couldn’t. They were too strong. I was screaming on my bed,” she said.
“They just said don’t tell anybody or else something will happen,” she revealed.
The teenager said that on one occasion one of the predators told her: ‘I am going to have sex with you’. She said: “I didn’t know what that meant. I was too young. He grabbed me and I fell onto the bed and then he went on top of me. He just did it to me.”
She said the attacker had a rope and she was trying to get her hands out of it after he tied her when she fell on the bed. She said: “I was screaming and crying. I was screaming really loud but I don’t know if anybody heard me.”
“I kept saying ‘Get off me, get off me’.” she said. She added that after one sex assault she went to the bathroom and was sick.
She said: “I was used to that sort of thing. I thought it was normal.” But she added: “I wanted to go outside and have fun.”
She said that Nelson told her she was to go to houses of friends of his where she was subjected to sexual abuse.
She told the court that Nelson had been at her house on her sixth birthday and told her he had a present for her but made her perform oral sex on him. She said: “I was crying and said that’s not a birthday present.”