May 2019

Sick OAP caged after targeting teen girls in Paisley

A notorious pervert has been caged for blowing kisses, licking his lips and making “inappropriate gestures” to underage girls on their way home from a shopping trip.

Henry O’Donnell, 70, is such a danger to young women he is the subject of a strict Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) which bans him from “approaching, speaking, or communicating in any way” with anyone under the age of 16.

He was made the subject of the SOPO after being convicted of a number of instances of sexually abusing minors.

And he targeted his latest victims, who were 13 at the time and are now 14, on a bus between Braehead Shopping Centre and Paisley .

O’Donnell went on trial at Paisley Sheriff Court on Friday, accused of breaking the SOPO by speaking to the girls on a number 26 McGill’s bus on March 29 last year.

One of the girls said she had gone shopping on the day in question with her friend and her friend’s cousin to get clothes for a family holiday.

And she said O’Donnell targeted them as they sat on the bus, before they got off near to KFC in the town’s Dundonald Road .

The girl explained: “An older man was making inappropriate gestures towards us.

“He was just, like, touching his inner thigh.

“He was touching his private parts and looking at us while he was doing it.

“He was doing a ‘hand-to-mouth’ gesture, as if he was holding a bottle, and moving his arm backwards and forwards at his mouth.

“He was hiding his face and looking at us really smug and staring at us.”

Her friend also gave evidence, and said: “He was licking his lips and blowing us kisses.

And, when asked what happened when he made gestures to them, she replied: “We all just looked at each other in shock – we were shocked.

“It wasn’t until we all got off the bus that it kicked in and we realised what had happened.

“He said, ‘bye, baby dolls’.”

Procurator Fiscal Depute David McDonald, prosecuting, asked the jury to convict O’Donnell.

He said: “To any other passenger on that bus, he’s just a drunk old man making a bit of a fool of himself.

“Those other passengers on that bus don’t know that Mr O’Donnell is subject to a SOPO, prohibiting him from speaking to or communicating with children.

“A person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, he does anything which he is prohibited from doing by a SOPO.

“Those gestures are clearly an attempt at communicating with the girls.”

The jury took just under an hour to find O’Donnell guilty by majority.

And, after hearing that O’Donnell was an alcoholic, who began drinking at the age of 13 and lost his job and started committing sexual offences in his 30s, Sheriff Tom McCartney locked him up.

As he jailed him for 18 months, he said: “A breach of a SOPO is a serious offence and you have previous convictions for that type of offending.

“A prison sentence has to be imposed.”

O’Donnell, who is on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life, was caged for three months at Paisley Sheriff Court in 1988 for shameless indecency, and he was caged for five years at the High Court in Glasgow in 1998 for abusing three girls aged between 10 and 12.

He was freed on parole but later recalled to prison to serve his full sentence after approaching a 14-year-old in the street.

In 2005, he was jailed again for five months when he flashed at a group of schoolgirls after following them.

In 2006, at Newcastle Crown Court, he was caged for three months for breaching his SOPO, he was caged for three years at Inverness Sheriff Court in 2009 for breaching it again, and was given a further six weeks at Paisley Sheriff Court in 2011 for breaching it again.

May 2011

Notorious paedophile ignores police pleas not to lurk in infamous woods

A SEX OFFENDER who preyed on schoolgirls is at the centre of a police bid to ban him from notorious woodlands.

Worried detectives want to stop Henry O’Donnell, 62, from entering Rannoch Woods in Renfrewshire – the scene of an infamous murder – but he has refused.

Frustrated liaison officers are powerless to stop him, despite O’Donnell being on the Sex Offenders Register for life and also under the supervision of a Sex Offences Prevention Order.

The pervert, who lives in nearby Paisley, has been asked to sign a legaldocument giving a personal guarantee to voluntarily stop visiting the woods.

A source said: “O’Donnell has been asked several times to give an undertaking that he won’t go into Rannoch Woods but he has knocked back requests because he doesn’t see any reason for him to stay away.

“He likes to go wandering and says he has no intention of having his freedom restricted more than it is.

“He’s got a SOPO and is on the Sex Offenders Register and he thinks the authorities already have him under enough supervision “Nothing can be done to stop him going into the woods because he hasn’t committed a crime there.”

O’Donnell, an alcoholic, was jailed for five years in 1998 after he abused three girls aged between 10 and 12.

He was convicted of shameless indecency and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

He was freed on parole but later recalled to prison to serve his full sentence after approaching a 14-year-old in the street.

In 2005, he was jailed again for five months when he flashed at a group of schoolgirls after following them.

O’Donnell had been drinking cider in a swing park before dropping his trousers in front of the youngsters.

A week after his conviction, a mum claimed that he had tricked her six-year-old son into touching him in a park.

Yesterday O’Donnell said: “I’m a registered alcoholic and the police want to stop me going into the woods because I like going there for a drink.”

But source said: “A convicted sex offender would never be asked to stay away from the woods just because he’s an alcoholic.”

Rannoch Woods, near Johnstone, became infamous in 1981 after schoolgirl Pamela Hastie, 16, was raped and murdered there.

Raymond Gilmour, 49, was jailed in 1982 for the crime but his conviction was quashed in 2007 after it emerged he gave a false confession.

New evidence has linked child killer Robert Black to Pamela’s death. A van driver said Black ran out of Rannoch Woods and smacked into his van on the day Pamela’s body was found.

Internet pervert Simon Moore, 43, raped a 13-year-old girl in the woods after building a secret den there.

He targeted the girl in an internet chatroom and travelled from London to Scotland to meet her. Moore was jailed for three years in 2005.

Strathclyde Police said: “Public safety is always our main priority but a balance is required between public safety and the right of the individual.”

May 2009

Sex offender who kissed girl jailed

A sex offender was jailed for three years and nine months at Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday after he admitted breaking the terms of a court order preventing him from approaching or speaking to children.

The court was told Henry O’Donnell, 60, kissed and cuddled a 10-year-old girl in an Inverness shop and tried to entice her to follow him by offering her a £1 coin.

The girl, who cannot be identified, was still traumatised after the incident at Costcutters in Telford Street in February this year.

Fiscal depute Ron Phillips said O’Donnell arrived in Inverness on January 18 after being released from a prison in Northumberland two days earlier after completing a three-year jail sentence.

O’Donnell has numerous convictions, including shameless indecency, and a five-year sentence for lewd and libidinous behaviour.

A 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order (Sopo) was granted against him at Paisley Sheriff Court in October 2005.

Among the conditions of the order was that he did not approach, speak or communicate, directly or indirectly, with children under 16.

Mr Phillips said: “The justification for the condition in those terms lies in the fact that this is man, whose profile reveals him to be a sexual deviant who has an unhealthy interest in young females, is regarded as presenting a very real threat to any young female, especially any children with whom he may come into contact.”

He said O’Donnell was assessed at a high risk of committing further sexual offences.

But the court heard that O’Donnell, who was living in homeless accommodation in Telford Street at the time, approached the girl in the store. He kissed her on the face and put both his arms around her body.

He also offered her a £1 coin before shop assistant Nuanpan Worsfold, 37, told him to leave.

O’Donnell, described as a prisoner in Inverness, pleaded guilty to breaching the terms of his Sopo, and breaking the peace in the same shop at a later date when he was refused drink.

Mr Phillips said the guilty pleas had saved the girl going through “a real ordeal” by having to give evidence in court.

Defence advocate David Nicolson said O’Donnell had been an alcoholic for 30 years, and had no recollection of the first incident.

Sheriff Alexander Pollock jailed O’Donnell for three years for breaking the Sopo, with a further nine months for the breach of the peace.