She came forward in March 2021 to report that she had been raped and sexually assaulting by an older man at a primary school in Islington in the mid-1980s.

The abuse lasted around two years and was carried out by a man who she identified to be Robert MacLennan.

He was working as the school’s groundskeeper during the time of the abuse and lived on the site.

Officers began an investigation and MacLennan was arrested in April 2021. He admitted sexually assaulting the victim, however he denied raping her.

Detectives work to build a case against him by identifying further witnesses and gathering their accounts.

This evidence was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service in May 2022 and he was later charged with a number of offences.

He went on trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court and was found guilty on 28 September 2023. He was sentenced at the same court on Wednesday, 24 January to 15 years’ imprisonment.

Detective Sergeant Barbara Siembida, who carried out the investigation, said: “I am pleased the victim of MacLennan’s awful crimes has finally got the justice she deserves.

“He abused his position of trust to target a child and it is right that he now faces a significant time in custody.

“I hope the outcome of this case demonstrates to other victims of non-recent sexual abuse that we take allegations seriously and will follow the evidence to bring offenders to justice.”

Conviction details

Robert MacLennan, 70 (03.12.53), of Romford, East London, was convicted of two counts of rape and seven counts of indecent assault. As well as his 15-year prison sentence, he will also remain on the sex offender’s register for life.

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