Man sent 143 explicit texts to youth over fourteen hours
AN OBAN man who sent 143 explicit text messages to a teenage boy will be sentenced next month.
Brian MacLennan, 47, previously pleaded guilty on August 4 at Oban sheriff court to sending the messages to the 15-year- old youth, who had obtained the guilty man’s phone number from a toilet wall in a supermarket in the town.
Sentence was deferred on MacLennan, whose address was given as a caravan on Barranrioch Farm, Glencruitten, when he appeared at Oban sheriff court on Tuesday.
The 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 written on a wall in the gents’ toilets of a local supermarket.
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.
The teenager responded and sent the first messages and then continued with questions such as, ‘Are you into guys?’ and ‘Are you gay?’ MacLennan was said to have responded graphically, asking the 15-year- old boy, ’What are you into?’
Over the course of 14 hours between August 11 and 12, MacLennan sent 143 messages, which became more graphic and explicit, with a similar number sent in reply by the boy.
Police were contacted after the boy’s 17-year- old brother snatched the phone and read the texts, alerting their father.
When Sheriff Ruth Anderson QC asked MacLennan on Tuesday if he had put his number on the wall, his defence soliciltor, Laura McManus, said: ‘He does not accept he did that.’ Sheriff Anderson replied: ‘I’m afraid to say I’m finding that really difficult to believe, given what then took place.
‘If you had not known your number was on the wall then your reaction to the first message would have been totally different.’
Deferring sentence until October 26 for further social work reports, she added: ‘It is very important whether you find it embarrassing, whether you are ashamed or wish none of this had happened, that you speak fully and frankly to social workers.
‘You have pleaded guilty to this charge and you have to be open and honest.’