October 2015

Police launch court bid to stop convicted sex offender from further offending

Police have launched a court bid to stop a convicted Dundee sex offender from further offending.

Gerald Niven, 41, was sentenced to two years in prison in 2011 after making arrangements to meet a 14-year-old girl and intending to engage in unlawful sexual activity.

Niven contacted the girl, 14, on Bebo and offered her £250 to meet him so he could “give her pain”.

He told her she had to wear her school uniform and hair in a ponytail.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard at the time how he told the youngster he would pay her £180 to belt her on the behind and hands.

Now, it’s understood that officers want to have a five-year SOPO (Sexual Offences Prevention Order) placed on Niven, who is out of jail and living in the city.

The order could prevent behaviour including contact with females under the age of 16 without prior contact.

The Tele understands that an interim SOPO is currently in place and a full hearing will be held in December.

It comes as neighbours of Niven say they are concerned that he is living on their street, which cannot be named for legal reasons.

One resident said it was unsettling having him staying nearby. He said: “There are a lot of children living in this street and ever since we found out he moved to the area there has been outrage.

“It used to be a utopia for the kids — they would be out playing on the street or in the back gardens.

“But now everyone is afraid to let their kids out because we all know he is there and we all know what he has done.

“It is a horrible thing to even discuss, and everyone is very uncomfortable with the fact he lives so close to so many children.

“Every house on the street has signed a petition to have him moved somewhere else because we can’t understand why he has been moved to an area with such a high number of children.”

During the 2011 case, the court heard that Niven had held conversations with the girl on a social networking site, and offered her the sum of money if she would meet him in school uniform and he could “give her pain”.

He then twice offered the girl more money, which she declined to accept.

In addition to the prison sentence, a further two-year period of supervision was imposed and he was placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Sheriff Richard Davidson told Niven: “You knew exactly what age she was when you started using the social network site and you knew what you were proposing to her to get your sexual gratification.” In January, 2012, Niven had a bid to cut his two-year jail sentence rejected, despite his claims it was excessive.

He had wanted to address his issues in the community.

Niven had previously been given three years’ probation, in 2005, for a similar offence.

January 2012

Sex offender Gerald Niven has appeal bid rejected

It was ruled that the two-year sentence for Gerald Niven had been correct

A sex offender who groomed a schoolgirl to try to let him belt her has had a bid to cut his two-year jail sentence rejected by appeal judges.

Gerald Niven, 37, contacted the girl, 14, on Bebo and offered her £250 to meet him so he could “give her pain”.

He told her she had to wear her school uniform and hair in a ponytail.

Niven had admitted at Dundee Sheriff Court committing an offence under child protection legislation between 4 February and 24 March 2010.

The Dundee man used an alias when contacting the pupil and when police searched his home they found a laptop with an evidence eliminator programme running.

Sheriff Richard Davidson jailed him and also imposed a further two year period of supervision on Niven.

But Niven appealed against the length of the prison term claiming on Friday at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that it was excessive.

His counsel Claire Mitchell said he had never before served a custodial sentence and would be supervised following release as well as being on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Lord Reed, who heard the appeal with Lord Brodie, said Niven had contacted the girl and offered her money in return for taking part in activities for his own gratification.

The senior judge pointed out that he had previously been convicted of similar offences involving grooming female children.

“The sheriff concluded that the appellant was a determined sexual offender with a strong predilection for sexual behaviour involving school girls,” said Lord Reed.

The judge said the sheriff had taken a starting point of three years in sentencing and reduced it to two years imprisonment to take account of the guilty plea.

“It may be the starting point is also somewhat high, but it appears to us the resultant period of two years was about right,” he said.