April 2019

Hurlford pensioner spared jail after admitting abusing child more than 50 years ago

A sex offender who admitted a child abuse charge dating back more than 50 years was spared jail.

Ewen Laird, 81, of Mauchline Road, Hurlford , was in his 20s when the attacks on a boy aged under 13 took place in Forfar, Angus.

The crimes were not reported to police until his victim, then aged 60, confronted him about the abuse over the phone.

The victim only spoke up after telling Laird he should go to police to confess his crimes.

When Laird failed to do so the victim came forward and brought the attacks to light.

A sheriff told Laird that if the offences had been recent he would normally face a prison sentence but the 50-year passage of time and his lack of any other criminal record meant he would walk free.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that Laird took advantage of the boy over the course of five years.

Fiscal depute Charmaine Gilmartin told the court that eventually, when the lad knew Laird was coming to visit the victim’s family in Forfar, he would take steps to avoid him and stay overnight at friends whenever he could.

Mrs Gilmartin said: “The complainer knew it was wrong and tried to stop it happening.

“He never spoke about the abuse.”

Eventually in June 2014 he confronted Laird by phone and told him he should hand himself in to police.

When the accused did not do it his victim spoke to police but did not make an official complaint as he was afraid of the effect on his family.

He later went to Forfar Police Station to report the offences and Laird was arrested at his home.

Laird pleaded guilty to a charge of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards the boy, who was aged between nine and 13, on various occasions between 1963 and 1968 at a house in Forfar.

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael imposed a community payback order with three years of supervision and placed Laird on the sex offenders register for three years.

He told Laird: “These were contact offences and I’d normally be looking at a custodial sentence for a contemporaneous offence in the region of 18 months.

“You are now 81 and it is in excess of 50 years since these offences took place.

“You have no previous convictions.

“The length of time that has passed between them and today and your lack of convictions in the meantime allow me to go down a non-custodial route.”

February 2019

Man who carried out sex acts on boy in Forfar over five-year period bailed

An elderly sex offender was today bailed after he admitted a child abuse charge dating back more than FIFTY years.

Ewen Laird, 81, was in his 20s when the attacks on a boy aged between nine and 13 took place at an address in Forfar, Angus.

But he wasn’t reported to police for decades until his victim – then aged 60 – confronted him about the abuse over the phone.

The victim only spoke up after telling Laird he should go to police to confess his crimes.

When Laird, who faces jail, failed to do so he came forward and brought the attacks to light.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that on various occasions Laird took advantage of the boy – carrying out sex acts on the lad over the course of five years.

Fiscal depute Charmaine Gilmartin told the court that eventually, when the lad knew Laird was coming to visit the victim’s family in Forfar, he would take steps to avoid him and stay overnight at friends whenever he could.

Mrs Gilmartin said: “The complainer knew it was wrong and tried to stop it happening.

“He never spoke about the abuse.”

But eventually in June 2014 he confronted Laird by phone.

The fiscal said the complainer told the accused he should go to the police and admit the offence but he failed to do so and eventually the complainer reported it to the police that year.

However, he did not make an official complaint as he was afraid of the effect on his family.

He later went to Forfar Police Station to report the matter and the accused was arrested at his home.

Laird, 81, of Mauchline Road, Kilmarnock, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards the child, who was aged between nine and 13, on various occasions between June 5, 1963 and June 4, 1968, at a house in Forfar.

His solicitor, Neil Little, told the court Laird had no previous convictions and that social work background reports would be required.

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael deferred sentence on Laird until March 8, calling for background reports and placed him on the sex offenders register in the interim.