October 2014

Man who groomed & abused 13-year-old schoolgirl escapes prison

There were angry scenes on the public benches and outside Selkirk Sheriff Court after Iain McCracken was ordered to carry out 240 hours unpaid work. One woman shouted:

“That is disgusting” as she left the court room while police had to deal with a commotion outside the building.

First offender McCracken, of Roxburgh Street, Galashiels, pleaded guilty to a charge of sexually activity with a girl under 16 between February 2011 and February 2013.

He also admitted sexually assaulting another 13-year-old girl at his home in August last year.

McCracken was 24 when he met the first girl after speaking on a social networking site and she was aged 13 at the time.

The pair had sex two or three times a month and they split up two years later when she was 15.

Following the break-up the girl said she found out she was pregnant and later suffered a miscarriage.

The court was told McCracken sexually assaulted the second girl after he asked her for a “wee cuddle”.

He pulled her on top of him, kissed her on the mouth and rubbed her buttocks. The scared 13-year-old went to the bathroom where she escaped through a window and cycled to her grandmother’s house in a distressed state.

When the other girl found out what had happened she told police about her two year relationship with McCracken.

McCracken made full admissions to police and confirmed he was aware she was 13 when the relationship first started.

Defence lawyer Ross Dow said McCracken, who was suffering from depression and testicular cancer at the time, accepted the seriousness of the charges.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said: “These are very serious offences and the second offence is even more worrying than the first as it indicates a propensity.”

In addition to a community pay back order involving 240 hours unpaid work, the sheriff ordered McCracken’s name be out on the Sex Offender’s Register for three years.

September 2014

Galashiels man groomed a 13-year-old girl

A Galashiels man was this week placed on the Sex Offenders Register following a secret two-year relationship with a 13-year-old girl.

Twenty-seven-year-old first offender Iain McCracken, of Roxburgh Street, appeared on indictment at Selkirk Sheriff Court and admitted sexual activity with a girl under 16 years, between February 2011 and February 2013.

The accused was aged 24 when the relationship began, and the girl, who he was conversing with on a social networking site, aged 13.

They split up two years later in February 2013, when she was 15. Following the break-up, the girl discovered she was pregnant and later suffered a miscarriage.

McCracken also pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting another 13-year-old in August last year. He had asked her for a “wee cuddle” before pulling her on top of him, kissing her on the mouth and rubbing her buttocks. The frightened teenager went to the bathroom where she crawled through a window and cycled barefoot to her grandmother’s house “in a state of distress”.

When the other girl found out what had happened, she told police of her two-year relationship with the accused.

McCracken made full admissions about his sexual activity, and confirmed he was aware the girl was just 13 when the relationship began.

Defence solicitor Ross Dow said his client, who was suffering from depression and testicular cancer at the time, accepted the seriousness of the charges.

Sentence was deferred until October 13 for reports.

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