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.