Man jailed for prolonged abuse of two young boys

William Frew was given 5 years 3 months at Edinburgh High Court. Picture: contributed
William Frew was given 5 years 3 months at Edinburgh High Court. Picture: contributed

A FORMER Boys’ Brigade member who abused a younger boy after rescuing him from a capsized canoe has been sentenced to more than five years in prison.

William Frew, 55, subjected the boy to a four-year ordeal at houses in Dalkeith, a tent near Peebles and at a camp near Ayton in the Borders.

The then lorry driver targeted a second 11-year-old boy 18 years later – abusing him in the cab of his truck.

Lord Boyd of Duncansby told him: “It is clear your offending has had a significant effect on the lives of your two victims.”

He jailed Frew for five years and three months after he earlier pleaded guilty to three indecency offences. He was told he would be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Lord Boyd told him that he took into account his offending had begun about 40 years ago when he was only 16 and would have been less mature.

But the judge added that his later abuse had commenced when he was a 38-year-old man and contained “a predatory element”.

Lord Boyd told the first offender: “I am satisfied you pose a low danger to the public and that you have led a useful life.”

But the judge said he would have jailed Frew, of Fells Rigg, Livingston, in West Lothian, for seven years if he had been convicted of the offences after a trial.

Frew admitted abusing his first victim between 1977 and 1981 and the second child between 1999 and 2002 at addresses in Dalkeith and Livingston, a parked lorry and in a car on a road between Danderhall and Niddrie.

The former Edinburgh Airport security officer had been a sergeant in the Boys’ Brigade when he met his first victim and became involved in the canoe rescue. He took the victim to brigade meetings on his motorbike and provided him with drink and cigarettes.

Frew stopped the abuse when the boy turned 15 and started lashing out and kicking his tormentor.

The victim later tried to commit suicide when he was 21 and revealed his abuse at the hands of Frew to a girlfriend.

Advocate depute Ian Wallace told the court the victim had been “severely affected” by the abuse and suffered anxiety and depression.

The second victim had also suffered depression and been referred to psychological services and sexual abuse counselling but found it overwhelming.

He was attending a school for children needing additional learning support when Frew befriended his parents. The boy stopped having contact with Frew when he was 14.

Mike Bell, defending, told the court: “There can be no excuse for this type of conduct and none will be offered.”

Mr Bell said he would not argue for a disposal in the case other than imprisonment and said Frew would undergo various courses to address his behaviour.

He said: “He intends, if he can, to work towards an early release.”