October 2017

Charity volunteer sent sex messages to 14-year-old girl

A VOLUNTARY worker with a Dunfermline youth charity has been sentenced for sending sexual messages to a 14-year-old girl.

Stuart Gemmell met her through the work he did with the Heart and Sound charity, he was also involved in the Headroom charity for youngsters.

At trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, Gemmell, 21, of Headwell Avenue, Dunfermline, had denied that on various occasions between June 1 and July 12 last year he sent Facebook and Snapchat messages containing indecent and sexual content to the girl.

However, he was found guilty by Sheriff Richard McFarlane who said the comments were “highly inappropriate” and Gemmell returned to court for sentencing.

During the trial, a witness told the court the girl came up to him in the charity’s studio and told him about the messages which had been sent to her.

He had told her to speak to the person in charge of running the charity. The witness said the messages had been of a sexual nature.

The trial was shown parts of Gemmell’s police interview where he admitted sending one message to the girl but denied others, sent around the same time.

In the interview he admitted he was attracted to the girl.

When Gemmell returned to court, defence solicitor Jonathan Matheson-Dear said his client was a first offender and been through a protracted trial process.

“It has to be conceded this is a serious offence,” he added. However, he pointed out that his client had already suffered consequences for the offence, including losing his job with Fife Council.

Sheriff McFarlane imposed a community payback order with 12 months’ supervision.