Phone number in toilets led to man sending explicit texts to teenager
AN OBAN man has pleaded guilty to sending 143 explicit sex text messages to a teenage boy.
Appearing before Sheriff Ruth Anderson, QC, on Tuesday, Brian John MacLennan, 47, whose address was given as Barranrioch Farm, Glencruitten, admitted sending explicit text messages to a boy aged 15.
Oban sheriff court heard that on August 11 of last year, the teenager, who was holidaying in Oban at the time with his father and brother, obtained a phone number from graffiti on a wall in the gents toilets of a supermarket in the town.
There was a suggestion by whoever left the message that if anyone was looking for a sexual relationship, they should contact the phone number scribbled on the wall. Procurator fiscal Eoin McGinty told the court: ‘It is fair to say the instigation was by the boy who was texting the accused, with questions including, “Are you into guys?” and “Are you gay?”.’
The accused was said to have responded graphically, asking the 15-year- old boy, “What are you into?”, with the boy then replying, “Would you have sex with me if I asked?”.’
Over the course of 14 hours between August 11 and 12, Oban sheriff court was told the accused sent 143 messages, which became more graphic and explicit, with a similar number sent in reply by the boy.
When asked by procurator fiscal Eoin McGinty if she wanted to hear an example of the more explicit texts, Sheriff Anderson said she could ‘anticipate what they would be like in nature, and there was no need for the court to hear them’.
Eventually the boy’s father and brother noticed he seemed ‘somewhat distracted’.
The teenager’s older brother snatched the phone and read the texts, alerting his father to the messages.
The boy’s father then phoned the number, and when the accused answered, he said, ‘Hello, who’s this?’.
The man identified himself as the boy’s father, to which the accused immediately hung up the phone.
The police were then contacted and the boy was interviewed where he gave an account of his contact with the accused.
On his arrest, the accused was interviewed where he admitted he had been sending text messages to the boy and that he knew he was only 15. MacLennan tried to suggest it was part of ‘a big wind-up’.
However, this explanation was not accepted by the Crown in his initial plea.
Sheriff Anderson told MacLennan: ‘It is a matter of fact that the complainer (the teenage boy) was not 16 and the accused knew this from the outset.’
Sheriff Anderson noted that the offence went no further than the sending of the text messages.
And she accepted MacLennan’s not guilty plea to the charge of making arrangements with the intention of meeting the boy.
Before passing sentence, which is scheduled to take place in September, Sheriff Anderson called for a criminal justice social work report to be carried out on Maclennan.
In the interim, Maclennan was placed on the sex offenders’ register.
It is a matter of fact that the complainer was not 16 and the accused knew this from the outset
Sheriff Ruth Anderson