Phone num­ber in toi­lets led to man send­ing ex­plicit texts to teenager

The Oban Times - - News - STEVEN RAE srae@oban­times.co.uk

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

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