February 2019

Paedophile locked up for touching Clacks girl on a bus

A paedophile pensioner living in Clacks has been locked up for befriending and groping a teenager on a bus.

James Landsborough appeared for sentencing at Stirling Sheriff Court on Wednesday, February 6, having been convicted of the offence at trial the previous month.

He was initially charged with sexual assault, but the jury found him guilty of an alternative offence: engaging in sexual activity with an older child.

The 80-year-old had befriended the youngster over the course of a few months in the summer last year.

On various occasions June 1 and August 28 last year, he approached the teenager when travelling on a bus through the Wee County.

Landsborough repeatedly placed his hand on a girl’s thigh, squeezed her thigh and grabbed her thigh.

Speaking from behind a screen during the trial, the complainer said: “When I first met him he would sit at the front of the bus and I would sit at the back.

“But one time he asked if he could sit next to me and after that he just sat next to me every time.

“He started just, like, tapping my leg before he left to get off the bus.

“Just, like, as he was getting off he would tap my thigh, just as he was saying goodbye.”

After that, Landsborough’s behaviour escalated and became far more forceful.

“It became a slap and then a grab – a tap, but harder. It was just more aggressive.”

There was also an occasion where he asked the girl to go on a walk with him, and another where he invited her into his home – offers she declined.

When asked to describe his behaviour by prosecutor Cheryl Clark, the teen said Landsborough was “out of control”.

Despite being uncomfortable, the teen also said she “didn’t know what to do” to get him to stop.

But after the touching was observed by a member of the public, it was reported to the police.

During the two-day trial on January 7 and 8, Landsborough’s defence agent insisted there was no sexual element to the touching.

However, after around 90 minutes of deliberations the jury found him guilty.

Following the verdict, it was revealed that Landsborough was a convicted sex offender, having abused a child in the past.

In 2006, he was jailed for seven years for carrying out lewd, indecent or libidinous practices with a child.

In court on Wednesday, Sheriff William Gilchrist said: “This was a serious charge.

“Although you were convicted of the alternative it was still a very serious charge, particularly in your case given your conviction for a very serious sexual offence.

“A custodial sentence is the only one appropriate.”

Landsborough, of Alloa Road, Clackmannan, was sentenced to 12 months in custody, with an extended period of two years.

His name was also added to the sex offenders register for 10 years.