Jail sen­tence for foot­ball coach who abused boys

Four-and-a-half-years­fornorth-east­man

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - NEWS -

A per­verted north-east foot­ball coach who abused a string of young boys over nearly a decade was yes­ter­day jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Alas­dair McCul­loch preyed upon at least six boys – on one oc­ca­sion lur­ing two chil­dren into woods to play truth or dare and then at­tack­ing them.

The 34-year-old, from Fraser­burgh, left his vic­tims trau­ma­tised, with one say­ing they con­tin­ued to suf­fer from night­mares about the abuse.

He pled guilty ear­lier this year to five charges of us­ing lewd and li­bidi­nous prac­tices to­wards chil­dren over eight years.

And yes­ter­day, at the High Court in Glas­gow, he learnt his fate as Lord Arthur­son told him it was clear he had very de­lib­er­ately “tar­geted young male chil­dren”.

Passing sen­tence, he said: “In th­ese cir­cum­stances, you will well ap­pre­ci­ate that on any view the grav­ity of your of­fend­ing, given the na­ture, the pe­riod li­belled and the num­ber and age of your vic­tims, mer­its the im­po­si­tion upon you to­day of a sub­stan­tial cus­to­dial sen­tence.”

McCul­loch was also placed on the sex of­fend­ers reg­is­ter for an in­def­i­nite pe­riod as the High Court heard he had a 2005 con­vic­tion for a sim­i­lar of­fence.

It was pre­vi­ously

“This­case­and oth­er­s­likeit showthatjus­tice can­beachieved”

re­ported that one of McCul­loch’s vic­tims – who can’t be iden­ti­fied – told how see­ing foot­ballers talk­ing about their own or­deals helped him re­port his at­tacker.

He said: “With foot­ball play­ers be­ing able to stand up and say what hap­pened to them, it just gave me the courage to stand up and say it as well. I con­stantly have night­mares about it.

“I’ ve got kids and strug­gle to be close to them. I strug­gle to have close relationships.”

At the ear­lier hear­ing, the court was told the abuse in­volved at least six boys he had in­vited to dis­cuss foot­ball tac­tics with him.

Ad­vo­cate de­pute Ash­ley Ed­wards QC said on one oc­ca­sion he led two chil­dren into wood­land to play truth or dare and sex­u­ally abused them.

She added: “Nei­ther un­der­stood what was hap­pen­ing or even re­alised it was sex­ual at the time.”

The court heard McCul­loch also per­formed sex acts while watch­ing chil­dren play­ing.

Ms Ed­wards said: “It is es­ti­mated the ac­cused car­ried out this be­hav­iour around 30 times in to­tal.”

De­fence coun­sel Der­ick Nel­son said: “Mr McCul­loch was ex­posed to some very trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ences as he was grow­ing up.”

Mr Ne lson said McCul­loch was due to be­come a dad for the first time later this year and said he “ac­knowl­edges the harm that th­ese of­fences have caused other peo­ple”.

Af­ter the sentencing at the High Court, procu­ra­tor fis­cal for sex­ual of­fences Kenny Don­nelly said: “The fact that the vic­tims of Alas­dair McCul­loch had the courage to come for­ward to re­port what had hap­pened to them has al­lowed us to bring him to jus­tice.

“Although th­ese crimes took place a num­ber of years ago, this case and oth­ers like it show that jus­tice can be achieved even when many years have passed from the date of the crime.

“I strongly en­cour­age any­one who has been a vic­tim of any such of­fence, when­ever it may have oc­curred, to re­port this to the po­lice.

“They can do so in the con­fi­dence that they will be treated with the ut­most pro­fes­sion­al­ism and sen­si­tiv­ity by the po­lice and our ex­pert prose­cu­tors.”

TAR­GETED BOYS: Alas­dair McCul­loch sex­u­ally abused at least six young males, the court heard

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