January 2018

Youth worker pervert used bogus health checks to grope teens

A VILE youth worker touched three teenage girls by carrying out bogus health checks using a stethoscope.

Pervert Paul Gillespie, 23, conned his victims to lift up their tops before he sexually assaulted them.

Paul Gillespie

The trained first aider pounced when driving the teenagers — who each had medical conditions — around in Irvine, Ardrossan and Stevenston, sometimes in a North Ayrshire Council motor.

Prosecutor Jennifer Harkins told a court yesterday the girls didn’t think Gillespie, of Largs, was doing “anything wrong”.

She said: “They viewed him as a friend and youth worker. He was in a position of trust and he abused that position.”

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard one victim was groped the day after her dad died.

She told the court: “I was very vulnerable and Paul was the only person I could trust.”

The beast also preyed on an asthma sufferer, 15, after claiming to be worried by her breathing. The third victim was duped into a stethoscope and blood pressure check.

Gillespie — snared by a colleague — was convicted of the 2015 and 2016 sexual assaults last month.

Yesterday the court heard he reckoned an ex-work pal had wanted “some kind of payback” after he complained about her.

But Sheriff Michael Hanlon handed him 300 hours’ unpaid work and banned unsupervised contact with girls under 17.

He was also urged to go on a rehab course and placed on the sex offenders register.

November 2017

North Ayrshire youth worker guilty of sexual abuse

An award-winning North Ayrshire Council Youth Worker has been found guilty of sexually assaulting three young females – while pretending to carry out health checks with a stethoscope.

Paul Gillespie, 23, examined three young females in his car on numerous occasions between November 2015 and December 2016 in Irvine, Ardrossan, Stevenston and elsewhere.

The assaults took place while Gillespie was giving them lifts, often in a North Ayrshire Council vehicle.

Gillespie, of Inverclyde View in Largs, denied the three charges against him but was found guilty after trial this week at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

The court heard from the witnesses that young people were often given lifts to and from events by youth workers on a casual basis and that this was approved by North Ayrshire Council.

All the girls, who suffer from various medical conditions, stated in court that they thought Gillespie, a trained First Aider and volunteer First Responder, was genuinely helping them and did not believe they had been assaulted until another youth worker found out and reported him.

Gillespie assaulted one of the girls, whom he supervised at Skelmorlie Youth Group, when she was just 15.

He would ask her to lift up her t-shirt and touch her on the body, including her breasts, with a stethoscope.

The girl, who suffers from asthma, told how on one occasion Gillespie pulled over during a car journey because he claimed he was concerned about her breathing.

Sobbing as she gave evidence, she said: “I felt uncomfortable, I felt vulnerable. I thought he was doing it in my best interests.”

Another girl was assaulted by Gillespie on numerous occasions and knew him through her involvement with North Ayrshire’s Youth Executive Committee.

Gillespie would ask the girl, who was then 17 and 18, to lift up her t-shirt and would touch her body with his stethoscope and hands.

The witness cried when she recalled Gillespie assaulting her during a lift home from a North Ayrshire Council Participatory Budgeting event.

She said: “It was the day after my dad died. I was very vulnerable at that point in time and Paul was the only person I could trust. I confided in him and I felt he used it against me. He would say, ‘I’m doing this to look out for you’. Then he would say, ‘Don’t tell anyone, this is between me and you’.”

A third young woman, who knew Gillespie through her involvement with North Ayrshire Council Services, said he would ask her to lift up her t-shirt and touch her on the body, including her breasts, with his stethoscope.

He also checked her blood pressure and blood sugar on one occasion. The court heard that the girl often asked Gillespie for medical advice.

She said: “He always explained what he was going to do. He would always say, ‘I’m doing this as a friend, not your youth worker and it’s between us’. I was uncomfortable, but I trusted him more than I did other people.”

Fiscal Jennifer Harkins said: “There is an element of coercion in this case. The witnesses didn’t think there was anything untoward in what he was doing. They viewed him as a friend and a youth worker. He was in a position of trust and he abused that position. They said yes just to get these examinations over quickly.

The accused’s evidence is entirely different to what these three girls are all saying. He used the excuse that it was because it was “off the books” but the crown submission would be that it was because he knew what he was doing was not right.”

Sheriff Michael Hanlon said that he was “satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that an assault has taken place” and found Gillespie guilty on all three charges.

He called for reports and a full risk assessment and placed Gillespie on the Sex Offenders Register.

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