November 2017: McGarva is planning to appeal against his conviction – Click this for update
Fife shopkeeper jailed for abusing young girls
For photo of this offender – Please click this link
A Fife shop keeper who molested young girls repeatedly for a year and a half has been jailed.
John McGarva, 71, was given an extended sentence of six years, three of which will be spent in custody.
Sick McGarva, who was trusted by one of his victim’s mothers because of his resemblance to Santa Claus, was also banned from being in the company of any child under the age of 17, unless he is under the direct supervision of an adult older than 25.
Members of the public who sat through the sentencing by Sheriff Alastair Brown shouted angrily as they left Dundee Sheriff Court.
One woman said: “He will do it again. Three years is a joke. McGarva has ruined those young girls’ lives.”
McGarva, of Kinglassie, had twice been convicted of crimes of a near-identical nature in 1999 and 2015.
He avoided jail in 2015, after being placed on a supervision order at Perth Sheriff Court by Sheriff William Wood.
During the trial, the court was shown video evidence given by a young girl who described to specially trained officers the extent of the abuse she suffered at the hands of McGarva.
Sheriff Brown said it would have been impossible for a girl so young and naïve to have made her story up.
He told McGarva: “You were convicted by a jury of a very serious offence. I can see from the criminal and social work and psychiatric reports that you still deny your guilt.
“No one who had to watch the video of what you got that little girl to do could have been in any doubt she was telling the truth.
“She was too young and too naïve to make it up.
“Her evidence was a compelling and appalling account of what you did to her.
“You have a bad history of interfering with little girls.”
McGarva was found guilty of intentionally causing a young girl to participate in a sexual activity, while on bail. The offences took place on various occasions between December 1 2014 and July 28 2015 in Fife.
He was also unanimously found guilty of sexually assaulting a young girl, while on bail, on various occasions between December 1, 2014 and July 28, 2015, at addresses in Fife and Kinross-shire.
He received an extended sentence of six years, three of which will be in custody.
He was placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely and subject to a sexual offences protection order for 15 years, banning him from unsupervised contact with children under the age of 17 without adult supervision.
McGarva was warned that if he broke the protection order, he could be sent to jail for a further five years.
Sheriff Brown also thanked the depute fiscal for the skill and care they undertook in presenting the “difficult” case.
Twisted pervert molested young girls while bathing them at his home
A serial paedophile who molested two young girls while bathing them at his home was in jail awaiting sentence last night.
The mother of one of John McGarva’s victims said she trusted him “because he reminded me of Santa Claus, with his white hair and beard”.
But McGarva, 71, was convicted at Dundee Sheriff Court yesterday of abusing a nine-year-old girl in 1997, then preying on another girl aged six and seven between December 2014 and July 2015.
He abused the 1997 victim after she helped out at a card shop he ran. He gained the trust of the victims and their parents by being “helpful” and giving the girls gifts before carrying out the attacks in Lochgelly and Kinross.
McGarva denied all wrongdoing but was found guilty by a jury – who never knew he had been convicted previously of similar offences at similar times.
Jurors looked shocked and upset when they learned he had been convicted twice before – for child sex attacks in 1998 and 2015.
They were told he got probation for the 1998 offence, which involved at least two young girls.
And when he was convicted again in 2015 for groping two girls aged 14 and 16 in his Kinross card shop, he was given a community payback order with 200 hours’ unpaid work, a sexual offences prevention order and a ban from going near kids.
But McGarva is facing jail for his latest offences after Sheriff Alastair Brown locked him up to await sentence on October 13.
He said: “You have been convicted of very serious sexual offences in relation to innocents.
“Anyone who saw the interview of the seven-year-old victim and saw her demonstrating what you induced her to do would be horrified. Anyone who heard the other victim describe what you did to her would also fail to not feel horrified.
“I’m appalled to find that you did this at a time when you were committing other offences in relation to children.
“I’m also appalled to find that a bail order was not successful in protecting the youngest victim from this monstrous behaviour.
“I do not consider that you can be released safely. Bail is refused.”
Shopkeeper who sexually assaulted schoolgirls avoids jail term
A pervert shopkeeper who sexually assaulted two young girls has been ordered by a court to stay away from children.
John McGarva was found guilty of groping youngsters aged 14 and 16 at the shop he used to run in Kinross.
The 69-year-old has always denied touching the girls inappropriately, but at a trial in September Sheriff William Wood dismissed McGarva’s “conspiracy theory” that one of the girls, who cannot be named for legal reasons, persuaded her friends to make up the allegations because he had refused to give her money.
McGarva, of Kinglassie, returned to Perth Sheriff Court on Wednesday for sentence.
Sheriff Wood placed him on supervision for three years and ordered him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work within six months.
He was also told he could not deliberately make contact with anyone younger than 16, apart from any close relatives.
Sheriff Wood told him: “It’s perhaps just as well that you are no longer running a shop,
“I did consider a custodial sentence in this case, but I am satisfied that that is not the only way this can be dealt with.”
The trial heard that McGarva had molested his victims between December 2011 and December 2012 at his New Cree Cards store.
McGarva’s solicitor David Holmes said his client still denied the charge, despite the outcome of the trial.
The court heard McGarva lived on his own in a remote house surrounded by two acres of field.
“He does regularly carry out unpaid work for people in the area, such as chopping wood,” said Mr Holmes. “He is certainly fit and able to carry out work in the community.”
McGarva was also told he must stay on the sex offenders register for three years.
Sheriff Wood said that if he breached any conditions, he could be brought back to court.