June 2017

Dark Island Beast sentenced to 10 years

A South Uist sex predator who preyed on a string of children for more than a decade has been jailed for 10 years.

A judge told James MacLachlan that he was guilty of a “grave course of conduct”.

The horrific abuse occurred between 1989 and 2001 in the Western Isles.

The 49 year-old – a former fish farm worker – was today sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow.

MacLachlan, of South Uist, had earlier been convicted of raping a 14 year-old girl and sexually abusing another around the same age.

A third was as young as seven when she was attacked while two boys – one just six – were also targeted.

Lord Beckettt told MacLachlan: “This was a grave course of conduct and unusually depraved sexual abuse.

“It has had a profound effect on the victims – an impact statement from one tells me in articulate and agonising detail how badly damaged her life has been because of you.

“Such is the gravity of these dreadful crimes, there is no alternative, but a significant custodial sentence.”

A jury heard how he groomed and abused his victims – with the attacks always being carried out in silence.

MacLachlan denied the accusations insisting the claims had been made up.

But, 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.”

MacLachlan today showed no emotion as he was led handcuffed to the cells.