'It was quite disgraceful behaviour .. a grave breach of trust' - Edinburgh OAP sexually assaulted three victims

A paedophile pensioner has been jailed after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting three children - including girls aged just six and eight-years-old

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 5:33 pm

John Sands, a 78-year-old great-grandad attacked the schoolgirls at his home in Portobello over a 20 year period.

He targeted the youngest victim by touching her on the body and genitals and attempting to induce her to touch his penis just after her sixth birthday.

The pervert also rubbed his penis against her body and genitals over her clothing and sexually penetrated her with his fingers during several horror attacks.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

John Sands, a  78-year-old great-grandad attacked the schoolgirls at his home in Portobello over a 20 year period.

He carried on the abuse against the child for six years between 2011 and 2017 before she bravely told an adult what had been happening to her.

During a subsequent police investigation two further victims came forward to say they had also been abused by the sick OAP.

He assaulted an eight-year-old girl by touching her genitals and placing her hand on his penis on various occasions at his home between 1997 and 1999.

Sands also attacked a third victim when she was just 14 by rubbing her leg and touching her genitals over her clothing on several occasions over the same time frame.

Jailed: Pervert John Sands

The pensioner had denied all the allegations but was found guilty of four serious offences by a jury following a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

Shameless Sands returned to the dock for sentencing and defence solicitor Paul Smith said he “continues to deny his guilt in these matters”.

The court was told the youngest girl was the to first confide to an adult that she had been abused by Sands while he was in 70s around May 2019.

Sheriff John Mundy said: “This is far too serious a case to have a non-custodial disposal.

“As far as the conduct is concerned it was quite disgraceful behaviour and a grave breach of trust towards these young children.”

Sands was caged for 30 months and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register or life.

He was found guilty by a unanimous jury verdict of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards a 14-year-old girl by on various occasions between May 20, 1997 and May 19, 1999 at his home in Edinburgh.

Sands was also convicted by by a jury of a string of charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards a girl, aged eight, on various occasions between October 13, 1997 and October 12, 1999.

The pervert, – who will be held in prison with other OAP sex monsters – was also found guilty of assaulting a six-year-old girl between August 2, 2011 and August 1, 2017 and targeting the same victim between August 2, 2015 and August 1, 2017.

The jury returned a not proven verdict to a further charge of indecently assaulting a woman who he believed to be asleep by rubbing her leg on an occasion between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 1999.

One of Sands’ victims was in court to seem him imprisoned but was too upset to discuss the case.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.