The senior police officer whose team brought Gavin Scoular to justice described him as “the worst I’ve come across” .
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Maclean, who led the Public Protection Unit investigation into his crimes, said Scoular would randomly chat to girls on Facebook and Skype to befriend them and then groom them, using a mixture of fake profiles and some using his real details.
He said Scoular “took every opportunity he could” to prey young victims, and added: “ It is fair to say he was compelled to do this for his own sexual gratification.
“Scoular would initiate conversation with girls under the age of 16, building up to him exposing himself to them online or bribing them to expose themselves to him. In the cases of the five girls he raped, he would communicate with them, build up a relationship and then arrange to meet them.”
Det Chief Ins Maclean said Scoular’s crimes had shocked himself and hardened colleagues.
He added: The Public Protection Unit investigation into his devices revealed offending on a scale amongst the worst I have ever come across in such a short space of time.
“I would urge parents to ensure their children are only chatting to people they genuinely know online, are keeping accounts private, not putting personal details on social media and parental controls are activated where possible. Those intent on offending like Scoular will try any means of gaining trust and befriending in order to coerce vulnerable victims into chatting, performing sexual acts online or meeting and being subjected to sexual assault or rape.
“We regularly visit schools and community groups to speak to young people and educate them in how to stay safe online, whilst also acting on any information we receive that indicates that a child has been abused or exploited. Safeguarding our young people is a priority and we will do all we can to remove opportunities for offending and put suspects before the courts.”