September 2008

Six years for foster care abuse

An East Lothian man who subjected two boys in foster care to a catalogue of abuse has been jailed for six years.

Kenneth Wilson, 27, preyed on the children from the age of five and six after “teaching” them how to perform sex acts.

A judge told Wilson at the High Court in Edinburgh the abuse and its effect on them must have been “devastating”.

Roger Craik QC said he would have jailed Wilson for eight years for the offences, but for his guilty plea.

Mr Craik, a temporary judge, said: “It is appreciated you were only 16 yourself when this abuse started, but you were old enough to know what you were doing.”

The judge also ordered that Wilson should be kept under supervision for a further two years after the prison sentence.

Wilson, of Dunbar, in East Lothian, earlier admitted sexually assaulting one youngster over a nine-year period and indecent behaviour towards a second boy.

Advocate depute, Claire Wilkinson, said: “These offences have had a devastating impact on both victims.

“They were placed in foster care because of neglect and mistreatment at a very young age, only to find that they were even less safe in their new home.”

She said the boys came from “a very troubled background”. Their mother became a drug addict and moved to London and the father was unable to cope with them.

She added: “After extensive social work intervention it was decided to place the children into permanent care away from their family.”

The two boys were placed into foster care with the mother of Wilson.

‘Extremely serious’

Miss Wilkinson said: “During their time in foster care, they had little by way of toys or personal possessions, were noted to be poorly clothed and were regularly placed in a box room as punishment.

“Over the years their behaviour deteriorated both at home and at school but this was put down to their difficulties from early childhood, rather than any current issues.”

Wilson earlier pled guilty to abusing one boy between 1997 and 2006 and the other child between 1997 and 2005.

Defence solicitor advocate, Jim Keegan, said first offender Wilson appreciated that the offences were “extremely serious”.