The father of a teenage girl who committed suicide has been convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison for raping his daughter. The rape reportedly led his daughter to commit suicide. He was convicted thanks to an evidence the teenager gave to police before taking her life.
James Elder held down and abused Jamie-Leigh Craig at his flat in Glasgow’s Parkhead in September 2016 and she was found dead three months later at her home in the city’s Southside.
Shortly after the rape, the 19-year-old spoke to police. She also tearfully told her mother what happened before she took her life.
Her statement to police naming Elder as the attacker was read out at the High Court in Glasgow. It led to the 43-year-old being convicted of the horrific sex attack after a trial last month.
The rape happened when Jamie walked out of the family home following a row. She ended up at her father’s flat. When she didn’t return home, she was reported missing. She eventually returned with two police officers but was not herself.
Describing her at that time, her mother Liz Craig told the court:
It was not the daughter I knew. She was hysterical. She was just confused, irritable…just all over the place.
The mum said her daughter went on to blurt out that Elder “raped” her.
The woman told the jury:
She kneeled beside me and started crying.
She put her head onto my lap. I just grabbed her. I put my arms around her and gave her a cuddle.
I wish I could do that now.
The victim spoke to police the day after the rape. Her harrowing account was read at the trial by one of the officers who met with her. Miss Craig recalled being at Elder’s home that night and claimed three other men were also there. She told police the attack happened after one of the other individuals tried to kiss her before Elder struck.
I was being held down by my arms and he was having sex with me.
The attack was said to have lasted 10 minutes, but “seemed like forever”. She recalled at one point “slapping” out in a bid to get away.
She added to police: “I remember feeling disgusting.”
Her mum often became emotional during her own testimony.
Asked if she was fine to continue, the victim’s mother replied: “I am never going to be alright, but carry on. I just want to get justice. I am my daughter’s voice now. You will never understand until you lose a child.”
Weeks after the attack, Elder told a visitor to his home that he felt “guilty” about having sex with the teenager. He had also apparently written a letter claiming she had been “coming on to him” and they slept together twice.
But Elder “maintains his position” of denial. He insists he did no such thing, but his daughter’s testimony led to his conviction. When Jamie-Leigh’s statement was read out during the trial at the High Court in Glasgow, Elder wept and dabbed his eyes with a handkerchief.
Elder was sentenced to 9 years in prison for violent rape of his daughter but Jamie-Leigh’s family spoke out after the trial last month insisting Elder should have been charged with murder.
Her mum Liz said at the time: “He’s got blood on his hands.”
She added: “The last thing I said to Jamie Leigh as I was standing by her coffin was: ‘I’ll get justice for you’.”