March 2019

Pervert is caught in cops’ sting

A 28-year-old pervert who spent four weeks grooming a “schoolgirl” on social media, sent her a series of explicit pictures and a video of him performing a sex act on himself.

Scott Duncan, of Fingask Court, Scone, thought he was messaging a 14-year-old. But he had been caught in a police “sting” operation and had actually been chatting online to an undercover police officer.

Within five minutes of the depraved fishmonger sending his last message, police executed a search warrant at his home address.

He was traced inside, his mobile phone was seized – and he was arrested.

He maintained he “hadn’t done anything wrong” and initially denied sending sexual photographs or videos to anyone under 16.

But depute fiscal Chris Mackintosh told Perth Sheriff Court this week he later appeared remorseful and repeatedly apologised.

Mr Mackintosh said: “He stated that he was disgusted with himself but denied being sexually attracted to young girls.”

When cautioned and charged, he told police: “All I can say is that I’m sorry. There’s no point in saying I’m innocent.”

Duncan had his name added to the sex offenders’ register – and will discover his fate on April 24 after background reports have been obtained.

He admitted that on various occasions between May 3 and 30, 2018, intentionally – and for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification or of humiliating , distressing or alarming “Lara Dickson” – he engaged in conversations of a sexual nature.

He then sent a video of himself masturbating, as well as photographs of a naked penis.

Mr Mackintosh told the court: “As part of an ongoing operation targeting sex offenders who utilise social media and instant messaging services to communicate with children, an undercover police officer created an account on the instant messaging service Kik.

“The undercover officer gave her profile the name ‘Lalalara 14’ and used a photograph of a 14-year-old girl as the profile picture on her account.”

On May 3, 2018, she posted on her account: “Hey, am 14 from Aberdeen, skipping school with a cold! msg me if ur frm bonnie Scotland for a chat.”

She was then contacted by a number of people, one of whom was the accused.

Duncan told the undercover officer he was 27 and sent her a ‘selfie’ of his face.

She told him she was 14.

They initially made “innocuous conversation” but then he spoke of “hating having spontaneous hard ons” and sent her a photograph of an erect penis.

She said: “Wow, wasn’t expecting that.”

He replied: “It’s 9.5 inches, hun, nice and long.”

He also sent her a short video of a male masturbating, followed by a another picture of an erect penis, stating he was “so hard right now for you.”

The conversation continued in a “sexualised fashion” and he asked the teenager to send him photographs of her bra and buttocks, as well as pictures of her breasts and of herself in school uniform.

He sent her further photographs of an erect penis on a further four occasions – once when she was “at school”.

She responded: “Wow, not now, I’m at school…you’ll get me in trouble.”

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis deferred sentence for a community justice social work report, as well as an assessment from the Tay Project, designed to rehabilitate sex offenders.

Duncan’s phone was forfeited.

Solicitor John McLaughlin will speak on behalf of the accused when he returns to court for sentence next month.