Man sent 143 ex­plicit texts to youth over four­teen hours

The Oban Times - - News -

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.’

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