November 2017

Port siblings speak out against ‘monstrous’ paedophile

A ‘MONSTROUS’ paedophile from Port Glasgow raped and repeatedly sexually assaulted his stepchildren during an horrific 12-year campaign of  abuse.

Thomas Gray preyed on victims Charles Buntine and Julie McKinlay from the ages of just three and 10 at addresses on the town’s Moray Road and Arran Avenue.

Depraved Gray — who committed the crimes between 1986 and 1997 — was today branded a ‘filthy beast’ by the siblings. 

Julie, now 38, and Charles, 34, have bravely waived their right to anonymity after Gray, 55, was unanimously convicted by a High Court jury of a catalogue of offences.

Julie told the Telegraph: “Thomas Alan Loughrey Gray has ruined my life, but to know that I am believed and that he has finally been exposed is a relief — although I still feel numb.

“I’ve had to live with this on my own for so many years, but justice is being served at long last.

“I just hope that when he is sentenced it reflects what he did, because he has taken mine and Charles’s lives.”

Pervert Gray was already on the Sex Offenders Register for a child pornography conviction in 2015 when police finally had enough evidence to charge him with abusing Charles, Julie and another female.

Julie first reported the deviant in 1998 after bursting into tears and confiding in a friend following years of keeping her inner torment ‘bottled up inside’ — but it was her word against his.

However, after Gray was found guilty at Greenock Sheriff Court of downloading indecent images of children, Charles and the other woman came forward and revealed the ordeals that they had been subjected to.

Gray indecently assaulted Charles by touching his private parts and seriously sexually abusing him between 1986 and 1988, when he was aged between three and five.

He also locked him in rooms, shouted and swore at him, punched and kicked him and struck him with a roller skate.

Gray told Julie to lower her underwear and expose her private parts, touched her intimately, tried to compel her to touch him, raped her as she slept, repeatedly punched and kicked her on the head and body and dragged her down stairs by her hair.

He committed these offences on various occasions between 1989 and 1998 and he sexually assaulted the other female at his Arran Avenue home in August 1996.

Julie said: “I have lived anonymously with people doubting me for so long. It’s time to stand up.

“I don’t know how I feel at the moment because it’s something that maybe hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s still raw.”

Charles — whose life has been blighted by substance abuse — revealed how he went into rehab as he prepared to give evidence against his tormentor and has now been ‘clean’ for nine weeks.

He said: “I turned to drink and drugs and just tried to block it all out but this case has been a turning point for me, and I have the support of my sister and other family.

“The court case has helped me because I didn’t want to go and give evidence drunk. I was determined to see justice done.”

Asked what he thought of Gray, Charles replied: “He is nothing but a filthy beast, and now everyone can see him for what he is.”

Sister Julie added: “Thomas Gray is a monster. He is vile. I don’t think there is a word to describe him properly.”

She said: “For anyone else out there who went through this kind of thing or has been hurt I would advise them to speak up and go to the police.”

Julie singled out Detective Constable Kenneth Campbell of Police Scotland’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit for special praise.

She said: “He has been amazing. He was the one who I told it all to in 1998 and he has been with us all the way and seen this right through and got us our justice in the end.

“To have to go over it all again in court and tell all those people was horrible, but DC Campbell has been a tower of strength.”

Gray — who was represented in court by defence lawyer Derek Buchanan of Westcourts Litigation — is currently locked up on remand and is due to be sentenced for his crimes later this month.

Julie said: “It’s a weight off my mind to know that he’s behind bars because I know now that he can’t hurt anyone else.”