A PENSIONER told a 10-year-old girl he wanted to ‘float his boat in her river’, Selkirk Sheriff Court has been told.
After being subjected to abuse from John Swan since she was eight years old, the youngster told police she took it that he wanted to have sex with her.
The 78-year-old of Lothian Road in Jedburgh, pleaded guilty to lewd and libidinous practices towards the child from 1998 to 2000.
He also admitted sexually assaulting a young woman in her 20s with mild learning difficulties two years ago.
Selkirk Sheriff Court was told that the youngster who lived in Yorkshire used to visit Swan and his wife in the Borders.
Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said there were a number of incidents starting when Swan was play fighting with the eight year old in the living room of his home and then suddenly lay on top of her and simulated sexual intercourse.
The confused child had no idea at the time what he was doing but he stopped before his wife entered the room.
A year later they were on the sofa together and she was wearing a nightdress when he put his hand between her legs and penetrated her private parts.
On another occasion they were watching television when he squeezed her breasts.
The girl told him she had told her mother about what was happening, although she hadn’t.
The court heard that when the girl was 10 in the summer of 2000 they were doing a jigsaw together when he pushed her back and fondled her breasts.
One time she was lying in bed when Swan came into his room wearing his pyjamas and exposed himself in front of her.
He got into bed and inserted his finger into her private parts before the girl left the room.
Mr Fraser said Swan told the girl he wanted to float his boat in her river.
He said: “She took this to mean he wanted sex with her – she was only 10 years old at the time.”
The matter was reported to the police in 2005 after the girl confided in a relative and he was interviewed but eventually released without charge.
But in 2014 Swan and his second wife were visited by another female with learning difficulties.
She was sitting in the passenger seat of his car when he leaned over and squeezed her breasts saying, ‘you have teased me long enough with these’.
Mr Fraser said she was shocked by his actions but did not say anything.
On another occasion when she visited she was sitting on the sofa and he pulled up her top trying to expose her breasts.
When she went home a relative asked what was wrong and she said Swan had touched her.
The court was told when Swan discovered the police wanted to speak to him again he took a substantial overdose and was in hospital for several days.
Sheriff John Halley deferred sentence until December 6 for background reports and placed twice-widowed Swan’s name on the Sex Offender’s Register.