A teenager who used social media to repeatedly send a series of shocking “sexts” to seven young children has been handed a four-and-a-half year sentence.
Gavin Scoular, 19, used BlackBerry Messenger, Skype, Facebook and Snapchat to get in touch with the children, who were aged between 10 and 12, on various occasions between August 2012 to August 2013.
Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how Scoular sent messages asking his victims to perform sex acts on him.
The court heard how he told one 12-year-old girl that he would post indecent images of her online if she didn’t comply with his request. On another occasion, the same girl and her 11-year-old friend, were forced to watch Scoular performing a sex act on himself on Skype.
He also met up with another 13-year-old girl in a field near Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary Hospital and sexually assaulted her. But police caught up with the teenager and took him into custody.
The story emerged after Scoular, of Oxgangs Terrace, Edinburgh, pleaded guilty last month to a series of charges under the Sexual Offences Scotland Act 2009 last month.
Sentence had been deferred in order for the court to obtain reports. None of his victims can be named for legal reasons.
Yesterday Sheriff Alistair Noble ordered Scoular to be detained in custody for 18 months. He also ordered him to be supervised by the authorities for three years following his release from prison.
Passing sentence, Sheriff Noble said: “You have pleaded guilty to a series of extremely serious offences.
“I am not satisfied that there is any suitable alternative to imprisonment. The public require to be protected from you. Given the gravity of the offences I am satisfied that a custodial disposal is necessary.”
Defence solicitor David Patterson told the court that his client was sorry for his conduct and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
Saying that Scoular’s family continued to support him, Mr Patterson added: “He is incredibly remorseful. He doesn’t fully understand why he was behaving in this fashion.
“Over time he has opened up to his family. They continue to support him.”
However, Sheriff Noble imposed custody and also placed Scoulary on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.