June 2016

Church member who sexually abused two children jailed


A church member who sexually abused children over a ten-year period has been jailed for four years and two months.

Derek Smith was found guilty by a jury after forcing his victims to relive their ordeals by giving evidence during a trial.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.

The 48-year-old repeatedly carried out lewd acts on a ten year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl.

Smith, of Anstruther, Fife, was made the subject of an 18-month extended sentence following his release from prison.

A 28-day concurrent jail sentence was also imposed after he was found guilty of contempt of court by feigning illness during the trial to disrupt proceedings.

A jury at Perth Sheriff Court found Smith guilty of indecently assaulting the boy in Perth and Dunfermline between 1 January, 2000 and 1 November, 2003.

They also found him guilty of indecently assaulting the girl in Leven, Fife, in August 2010.

The trial was told Smith had been a member of a church group and had been introduced to the children by a mutual friend.

Following the guilty verdict, the court was told that Smith had previous convictions for sexual offences.

Solicitor John McLaughlin, defending, described his client as “slightly odd” and told the court Smith would be vulnerable within a prison setting.

Sheriff Fiona Tait said she had no option but to jail Smith, adding that he had “misled the court” in relation to his feigned illness.