February 2019

Speyside farm worker jailed for a year for sleeping with underage girls in tractor

A farm worker who had sex with a schoolgirl in his tractor has been jailed

Ryan Mitchell, 22, befriended the girls through social media in full knowledge that they were both 14.

With each girl, he chatted to them and then picked them up in his tractor before driving them to secluded spots for sex.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard the first girl was taken to a small farm steading – and that her mother raised the alarm after becoming aware of inappropriate contact between the pair.

In a separate incident in the same month, the second teenager was driven to a field where Mitchell asked her for sex and although she initially said no she later said yes. The incident happened in the tractor cab.

She later contacted the authorities herself.

Mitchell, of Marypark, Ballindalloch, previously admitted having sex with two underage girls.

At his sentencing hearing yesterday, defence solicitor Stephen Carty highlighted his client’s “emotional immaturity” but conceded that a jail sentence was almost inevitable.

He said: “My client accepts his conduct was wrong and he should not have acted in this way to the complainers.

“He has a number of personal difficulties, which are highlighted in the psychiatric report.

“He has a significant degree of immaturity which is a double-edged sword and he is a bit slow for somebody of his age.

“He is a young man with certain challenges and difficulties and he admits he acted stupid in these situations he put himself into.”

Mr Carty also told the court that Mitchell has a “large amount of regret for his actions.”

Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov said she had taken into account his personal issues that had been outlined by his defence agent but could not ignore the severity of his crimes.

She said: “You are a first offender and suffer from particular issues but that has to be balanced with the gravity of these offences.”

Mitchell was jailed for 12 months and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.