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Police investigate Blackfriars Street 'paedophile ring' ... Did jailed child rapist David Scott run a network of abusers? ... Eight-year-old girl was 'sold' by the ex-soldier to five other men in flat near Edinburgh's Royal Mile ... Victims urge detectives to trace the gang and bring them to justice

A FORMER soldier jailed for sexually abusing six girls is being investigated over claims he operated a paedophile ring in the centre of Edinburgh.

David Scott, 60, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a reign of terror spanning 45 years. But one victim has told police that in 2010 Scott took her to a flat in Blackfriars Street where five other men also abused her.

The girl, who was aged eight at the time, says she saw the men give Scott envelopes containing cash in the dingy flat just off the Royal Mile.

The teenager's explosive claims of a paedophile ring are being investigated by Police Scotland detectives.

A relative of the girl, who cannot be named, said: “We know that Scott is an absolute monster but I am certain these five men also abused her and they must be identified and brought to justice.

“I will do everything I can to find out who these men are. It is likely they are still out there which means that other children could be at risk.

Scott began abusing children in 1970 but was not convicted until May this year.

After admitting 10 charges at the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lady Stacey told him: "You moved through generations of girls. You created a culture of fear which allowed your abuse to carry on.”

Victim Laura Lunn last week waived her anonymity to reveal that she had reported Scott to police in 1997 after suffering three years of abuse, which started when she was aged seven.

Police claimed that Scott was not prosecuted at the time due to a lack of corroboration.

But Laura, 30, says they failed to investigate property by not speaking to at least three other girls who had already been raped and abused.

They were only approached 20 years later in 2017 after two new victims came forward.

It is one of the two most recent victims who told police about Scott taking her to the Blackfriars Street flat.

In an interview with BBC Scotland, Laura said: “I can’t believe he got away with it for as long as he did and I do believe that the only reason he did was because the police didn’t do their job.

“If they’d they done their job properly, at least two of the six victims would never have been abused.

“There was just too much. There’s so much evidence now when you look at it that you think how, what happened there 21 years ago?”

One of Scott’s two most recent victims provided a detailed statement 18 months ago claiming that he allegedly sold her to other paedophiles.

She said that he took her to the flat on numerous occasions where five men, who she has described to police, raped her.

She saw the men hand Scott envelopes. Scott would then take the girl for a McDonald’s meal or shopping at the St James Centre.

The girl’s relative said: “Afterwards, he took her to the shops and would see him taking money out of the envelopes to buy her something such as a handbag or a hat.”

Last week the girl’s family identified what may be the address where Scott allegedly took her.

They also learned that a Scott associate who is due to stand trial for alleged child abuse matches the description of one of the men.

The relative took a video of the flat’s communal entrance and front door which she confirmed to be the same address where the abuse took place.

Detectives are now due to take an additional statement from the girl this week.

The relative said: “She had already described this flat in great detail when she gave her first statement about Scott to the police 18 months ago. There is no doubt in my mind this is the flat.

“When she saw the video, she confirmed it in two seconds. We were relieved for her because after all this time, it was such a big breakthrough.

“This particular associate of Scott is distinctive and fits the description of one of the men in the flat which I am sure will be of interest to the police.

"She wants to get on with her life but there are so many unanswered questions about how Scott was able to get away with it for so long."

Last night Laura — who believes there are other victims who she has urged to come forward — said: “I am not at all surprised at this. For years I have been saying that Scott was involved with other paedophiles.”

Despite criticism of police action in 1997, the relative is confident that detectives are now determined to investigate thoroughly.

The relative sad: “Had Laura been taken seriously all those years ago then it may have prevented others becoming victims.

“But whatever happened 21 years ago, I believe the police want to do the right thing now.

“During the recent investigation, one particular detective did backflips to help us. The police did a fantastic job in convicting Scott but they don’t always have the resources they need.

“The world has changed for the better in so many ways and there is so much more awareness about child protection issues."

However, there is growing anger at the length of Scott's prison sentence of '12 years'. Laura and the other victims were not told that he could be released on parole after serving just six years behind bars.

The victim's relative added: "The sentence is laughable. It is insulting. He raped children for almost half a century and could be back out in six — what kind of deterrent is that for other paedophiles?

He could potentially serve just a year for each of his six known victims.

“He deserves to die in prison. I firmly believe that not only was he a serial child abuser but that he sold at least one of his victims to other paedophiles.

“Each and every one of these monsters must be found, held to account and join him behind bars.”

Scott served four years in the Army with the Royal Scots but left at the age of 20, allegedly for getting a 14 year old pregnant.

The Army say that data protection laws prevent them from providing information about Scott’s discharge and that their records may not even contain the reasons.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "Police in Edinburgh received a report of non-recent sexual assault, which took place at an address in Blackfriars Street sometime in 2010.

"Inquiries into this matter are continuing."

A version of this report was first published in the Daily Record on September 18, 2018


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