March 15th 2016
A man who was part of a notorious Scottish paedophile ring has had his 17-year jail term reduced on appeal.
John Milligan was jailed along with seven other men in 2009 for conspiring to commit sexual offences against a child and possessing and distributing indecent photos of children.
The 47-year-old from Govan, Glasgow, received 10 years for the conspiracy charge and seven years for the images.
Appeal judges have now decided to cut the 10-year sentence to seven years.
Milligan, a former civil servant, previously appealed unsuccessfully against the prison sentence imposed on him following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
His case was referred back to appeal judges by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which looks into alleged miscarriages of justice.
Following the appeal hearing, the Lord Justice General, Lord Carloway, sitting with Lord Bracadale and Lady Clark, quashed the 10-year sentence and imposed a seven year term.
The decision followed the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh substituting a more limited conviction against Milligan over the conspiracy charge.
Lord Carloway said that what Milligan remained convicted on was “still significant” and added: “As the trial judge has reported the appellant was a central player in the conspiracy.”
Six members of Scotland’s biggest paedophile network have been jailed.
Ross Webber, Craig Boath and John Milligan were convicted last month of conspiring to sexually abuse children.
They were also convicted of making and possessing with intent to distribute indecent images of children, with Colin Slaven, John Murphy and Neil Campbell.
At the High Court in Edinburgh, they received sentences ranging from two to 17 years in jail. The judge said their crimes were of the most serious nature.
He told them: “These offences involved real children. Many of the photos involved children being sexually abused, often in the most appalling ways.
The two men at the centre of Scotland’s largest known child abuse network have been jailed for life.
Neil Strachan, 41, attempted to rape an 18-month-old boy while 38-year-old James Rennie sexually assaulted a three-month-old.
Strachan was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years in prison, while Rennie was ordered to serve at least 13 years.
Police said the operation had led to more than 200 suspected paedophiles, 70 of them in the UK, being identified.
Six other men had already been sentenced for their involvement in the network.
Strachan and Rennie, both from Edinburgh, were also found guilty after a 10-week trial of conspiring to get access to children in order to abuse them, while Strachan was convicted of a further charge of sexually assaulting a six-year-old boy.