May 2017

Sexual predator abused children for more than a decade and treated them like “objects”

A sexual predator who targetted children in the Western Isles for more than 12 years is behind bars.

Fish farm worker James Maclachlan, 49, of South Uist, raped one girl when she was 14 and sexually abused another girl when she was aged between 12 and 14.

He preyed on a third girl when she was aged between seven and 10.

He also sexually abused a teenage boy and a six-year-old boy.

The abuse took place between 1989 and 2001.

Yesterday, Judge Lord Beckett remanded Maclachlan in custody and told him: “The charges you have been convicted of are extremely serious. Your victims, who were children at the time, showed great courage in giving evidence about the depraved and despicable conduct which you inflicted on them.”

Prosecutor Shanti Maguire said: “He is an utterly deviant, manipulative, sexual predator towards children both male and female.

“He was utterly indifferent to them as people, they were just objects to him.”

During his trial at the High Court in Glasgow it emerged that Maclachlan systematically carried out a course of criminal conduct. In each case he groomed his victims.

He began by touching them and then moved on to inappropriate sexual contact.

The victims each told of how the abuse was always carried out in silence. Maclachlan said nothing to them and then once he had finished abusing them, just left.

In court Maclachlan denied all the charges against him and claimed that his victims had made it all up.

Sentence was deferred until next month at the High Court at Dunfermline and he was placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Lord Beckett told Maclachlan: “You can expect a substantial sentence of imprisonment.”

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