An elderly Dornoch man to try to befriend a young girl and give her romantic gifts, a court has heard.
Angus Davies, Camore Crescent (73), gave the 13-year-old money and other presents, including a Robert Burns love poem and a heart-shaped paperweight during a four-month period from September 1 to December 31 last year.
He made contact with the girl as she was out in the town and at the local play park.
But Davies, who lives alone, was suffering from grief over the loss of his brother, according to his lawyer.
Davies appeared for sentencing at Tain Sheriff Court yesterday, having previously admitted behaving in a disorderly manner and placing the girl in a state of fear or alarm at a local address and elsewhere.
The matter came to light after the girl disclosed to her family that she had been given the love poem.
Defence agent Alison Foggo said a social worker, who prepared a background report on Davies, was recommending that he be given a structured deferred sentence to help him address his issues.
She said: “Mr Davies struggles at one level to see where the harm is in his offending but on another level is deeply apologetic for the level of concern he has caused.
“He is a single man of 73 and lives on his own. He was cared for by his brother who passed away last year. He has struggled to adjust to living on his own.
“Loneliness and unresolved bereavement issues are ongoing matters that affect his life and the social worker has identified these matters and thinks good use could be made of a period of supervision to work on a number of aspects of his life and to ensure he does not make a mistake like this again.”
Sheriff Chris Dickson agreed with Ms Foggo and placed Davies on a structured deferred sentence with two conditions – that he undertake an offender awareness programme and bereavement counselling.
The sheriff said he wanted to ascertain Davies’ fitness to carry out unpaid work. He requested a letter from his GP be obtained before the next calling of the case on January 22.
Sheriff Dickson also banned Davies from having any contact with any child under the age of 16 unless authorised by social workers.