Perv sen­tenc­ing due, year af­ter guilty plea

Case in­volv­ing his­toric sex of­fences is drag­ging on

Perthshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Court re­porter

A sex pest who co­erced a drunk teen to per­form sex acts on him will fi­nally be sen­tenced next month al­most a year af­ter he pled guilty to the crime.

The his­toric of­fences took place when Stephen Hamil­ton was 35 and his vic­tim was just 15.

The case has been drag­ging through Perth Sher­iff Court since Septem­ber of last year and he was to have dis­cov­ered his fate on at least three pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions.

At one point, the ac­cused, now aged 59, of Stronachie House, For­gan­denny, claimed he be­lieved the girl to be over 16.

Sher­iff Lind­say Foulis said his un­der­stand­ing of the Crown nar­ra­tion pre­vi­ously given was that the ac­cused knew she was just 15.

Sen­tence was de­ferred to al­low a proof in mit­i­ga­tion to take place but that wasn’t “in­sisted on,” spar­ing the vic­tim the trauma of a pos­si­ble court ap­pear­ance.

Hamil­ton also changed his lawyer and that led to fur­ther de­lays.

He was to have been dealt with in May but his new le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive asked for an eight-week de­lay to al­low him to con­tact the vic­tim.

The ac­cused re­turned to the dock on Wednes­day.

His new so­lic­i­tor re­ferred to the “un­usual pro­ce­dural his­tory” of the case but said his client was ad­her­ing to the guilty plea pre­vi­ously ten­dered on Septem­ber 26, 2017.

A back­ground re­port had been pre­pared on the ac­cused in Novem­ber of last year but that was now out of date.

Sher­iff Lind­say Foulis agreed to de­fer sen­tence fur­ther un­til Au­gust 8 to al­low a sup­ple­men­tary Com­mu­nity Jus­tice So­cial Work re­port to be pre­pared.

Hamil­ton’s name has al­ready been added to the Sex Of­fend­ers’ Reg­is­ter and his bail was con­tin­ued mean­time.

Hamil­ton pled guilty to a charge of us­ing lewd, in­de­cent and li­bidi­nous prac­tices and be­hav­iour to­wards the girl on var­i­ous oc­ca­sions be­tween Septem­ber, 1996 and Septem­ber, 1997.

The court heard that he would of­ten take his vic­tim out in his car and then park on ru­ral roads.

He be­gan by kiss­ing and touch­ing her in­ap­pro­pri­ately be­fore he was able to per­suade her to per­form more in­ti­mate acts on him.

De­pute Fis­cal Tina Dickie said Hamil­ton would reg­u­larly ply her with al­co­hol and cannabis when he took her out to make her more sus­cep­ti­ble to his in­ap­pro­pri­ate ad­vances.

The teenager kept quiet about the li­aisons for al­most two decades be­fore con­fid­ing in her part­ner in 2015.

Yet an­other date has been sched­uled for the sen­tenc­ing of Stephen Hamil­ton

De­lay

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