August 2018

Galashiels man found guilty of child abuse

A sex offender who preyed on two young sisters during their holidays to Scotland more than 20 years ago was convicted of his crimes yesterday.

Matthew Walley (45) was a teenager when he began abusing the children during their stays in the Scottish Borders.

One victim told the High Court in Edinburgh: “I remember very clearly him exposing himself to me and him saying ‘you are not ready for that yet’.”

Walley, of Winston Road, Galashiels, began a course of indecent behaviour towards one victim when she was aged just six and continued until she was 11.

He started with French kissing the child but his behaviour escalated into molesting her and get her to carry out sex acts during her holiday breaks from England.

The woman, now aged 37, works as a midwife but after having a child found it difficult to face leaving her children in the care of others and disclosed what had happened to her as a girl and was advised to report it to the police.

Walley had denied committing indecent behaviour towards her between January 1987 and 1993 and towards her younger sister, now aged 34, between April 1988 and 1992 when she aged between four and seven.

He French kissed the younger girl and got her to touch him. She said: “I have a memory of putting my hand into his pocket. The seams were broken so you could put your hand all the way through.”

He was found guilty of both the offences and sentence was deferred for a background report to be prepared.

The court heard that Walley told the older girl that he loved her during the abuse and she revealed that she felt “special”.

Prosecutor Richard Goddard told then jury that the episodes of abuse with the older girl appeared to become “almost a matter of routine”.

The advocate depute said that Walley had carried the acts against the girls for his own sexual gratification.

Walley, a former taxi driver, told the court that he had asked one of the girls “an inappropriate question” and she went and told on him at the time. He said he asked her: “Would you like to see it?”

Walley was placed on the sex offenders’ register following the trial before judge Lord Woolman.