Preda­tor jailed for 18 months

The Oban Times - - Front Page -

A MAN who had sex with a vul­ner­a­ble teenage girl has been sen­tenced to 18 months be­hind bars.

An­gus Fran­cis, 27, will be on li­cence for a fur­ther three years upon his re­lease from prison.

Fran­cis, from Fort Wil­liam, was sen­tenced at Dum­bar­ton Sher­iff Court on Tues­day.

He ap­peared at Oban Sher­iff Court in Septem­ber ac­cused of hav­ing sex with the girl when she was just 14 years old.

Dur­ing the trial, the court heard how Fran­cis met the girl at a pub in Oban in 2012.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence, the girl, now 19, said: ‘When I was 14 I was go­ing through a re­ally hard time. I was be­ing bul­lied at school. I didn’t have many friends my own age. I had two older friends.’

Af­ter meet­ing Fran­cis, they kept in touch by text be­fore meet­ing to have sex a few weeks later.

She added: ‘He told me I couldn’t tell any­body be­cause it was our se­cret. He could get into trou­ble. I knew it was wrong. I felt re­ally dirty but he made me feel like I was wanted, that some­body on this planet wanted me.’

They had sex again in 2013 when the girl was just 15.

A jury found Fran­cis guilty and he was due to be sen­tenced in Dum­bar­ton last month, but this was de­ferred for a psy­chi­atric re­port to be car­ried out.

Yes­ter­day, Fran­cis’s solic­i­tor con­firmed he was given a clean bill of men­tal health in the as­sess­ment. But the re­port de­ter­mined that Fran­cis did dis­play a nar­cis­sis­tic per­son­al­ity.

Speaking of the cir­cum­stances of the case, Sher­iff Wil­liam Gal­lacher said: ‘It was abun­dantly plain to me that the young girl was open, or at least sus­cep­ti­ble, to abuse be­cause of her vul­ner­a­bil­ity.

‘It may be that she was sim­ply there and open to the abuse. She may have had a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.

‘That does not mat­ter. The cur­rent leg­is­la­tion ex­ists to pro­tect chil­dren and imposes a re­spon­si­bil­ity on adults.

‘It’s plain to me that you were aware of the cir­cum­stances of this young girl.’

Sher­iff Gal­lacher said he had no choice but to hand out a lengthy sen­tence to Fran­cis.

He added: ‘It’s clear to me be­cause of the grav­ity of the of­fences that there is scope for in­ter­ven­ing in your at­ti­tudes.

‘And it is ap­pro­pri­ate for me to hand out an ex­tended sen­tence.’

Fran­cis was sen­tenced to fourand-a-half years, of which 18 months will be in cus­tody.

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