July 2018

Pervert sentencing due one year after guilty plea for historic sex offences 

A sex pest who coerced a drunk teen to perform sex acts on him will finally be sentenced next month – almost a year after he pled guilty to the crime.

The historic offences took place when Stephen Hamilton was 35 and his victim was just 15.

The case has been dragging through Perth Sheriff Court since September of last year and he was to have discovered his fate on at least three previous occasions.

At one point, the accused, now aged 59, of Stronachie House, Forgandenny, claimed he believed the girl to be over 16.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said his understanding of the Crown narration previously given was that the accused knew she was just 15.

Sentence was deferred to allow a proof in mitigation to take place but that wasn’t “insisted on,” sparing the victim the trauma of a possible court appearance.

Hamilton also changed his lawyer and that led to further delays.

He was to have been dealt with in May but his new legal representative asked for an eight-week delay to allow him to contact the victim.

The accused returned to the dock on Wednesday.

His new solicitor referred to the “unusual procedural history” of the case but said his client was adhering to the guilty plea previously tendered on September 26, 2017.

A background report had been prepared on the accused in November of last year but that was now out of date.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis agreed to defer sentence further until August 8 to allow a supplementary Community Justice Social Work report to be prepared.

Hamilton’s name has already been added to the Sex Offenders’ Register and his bail was continued meantime.

Hamilton pled guilty to a charge of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards the girl on various occasions between September, 1996 and September, 1997.

The court heard that he would often take his victim out in his car and then park on rural roads.

He began by kissing and touching her inappropriately before he was able to persuade her to perform more intimate acts on him.

Depute Fiscal Tina Dickie said Hamilton would regularly ply her with alcohol and cannabis when he took her out to make her more susceptible to his inappropriate advances.

The teenager kept quiet about the liaisons for almost two decades before confiding in her partner in 2015.