Prosecutors to appeal 'lenient' sentence handed to East Lothian child sex offender

A CONVICTED child sex offender who walked free from court last month is to have his sentence appealed by the Crown.

By Alexander Lawrie
Saturday, 28th November 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Saturday, 28th November 2020, 9:25 am
Abuser: John Boyd at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Abuser: John Boyd at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

John Boyd, from Prestonpans, East Lothian, admitted sexually abusing a ten-year-old girl when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

The truck driver avoided a custodial sentence when he was sentenced at the city court sparking outrage within the local community.

Boyd, 54, was placed on a supervision order for three years and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for the same length of time despite the court being told this is his third conviction of a similar nature.

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But now East Lothian councillor Lachlan Bruce has secured a commitment from the Crown Office to appeal the sentence handed down to Boyd.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist councillor for the Preston, Seton, Gosford ward wrote to Lord Advocate James Wolffe calling for a Crown unduly lenient sentence appeal to be lodged.

And today the Assistant Procurator Fiscal confirmed that this appeal should be lodged and is being done through the Appeals Unit as a matter of urgency.

Councillor Bruce has now urged the Appeal Court to hear the case as quickly as possible and it is believed the appeal against Boyd’s sentence will be heard in February next year.

He said: “Mr Boyd’s actions were reprehensible and he should be properly punished for his deplorable ways.

“It is entirely the right decision that the lenient punishment he received now be appealed against.

“We need tough sentences to deter paedophiles from acting in morally repugnant ways like this and we also need them to take these people off the streets and out of communities.

“It is the only way we can guarantee that our children can be safe from these monsters.

“I would urge that this case be heard quickly by the Appeal Court and for this matter to be resolved once and for all.”

Following Boyd’s conviction, the father-of-two was forced to flee from his home in Prestonpans after protests from disgusted locals.

The house was subsequently boarded up to avoid vandalism and he is now living at an undisclosed location.

Boyd pleaded guilty to forcing himself on the youngster by kissing her on the mouth and fondling her after luring the girl into a bedroom at her home.

He also sent the schoolgirl WhatsApp messages and texts declaring his love for her and telling her she was “beautiful”.

Boyd pleaded guilty to sending written sexual communication to a ten-year-old girl for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification and stating he would like to kiss her, touch her, ask her

to send him photographs of herself, refer to taking her on holiday and making reference to her as his girlfriend at an address in Midlothian between June 28 and August 5 last year.

He also admitted to sexually assaulting the girl placing his arms around her, lifting her body off the ground, squeezing her buttocks and repeatedly kissing her on the mouth and sucking her bottom lip at the same address on August 5 last year.

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