March 2013

Kelso school bus driver Victor McMinn sentenced for sexual assault on child

A school bus driver found guilty of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl has been placed on the sex offenders’ register for three years.

Victor McMinn, 68, of Ferniehill Court, Kelso, was put on probation for three years.

At Selkirk Sheriff Court, he was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

McMinn was convicted earlier this year of assaulting the girl at his home between April 2010 and March 2012.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond said it was of public concern that McMinn was employed in a position of trust, transporting children in a rural area, despite a previous conviction for lewd and libidinous behaviour.

March 2013

School bus driver sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl in the Borders

A sheriff has spoken of his concern after a man convicted of lewd and libidinous conduct was employed driving a school bus “in a position of trust”.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond has ordered his clerk to write to Scottish Borders Council’s education department to stop it from happening again.

Victor McMinn, 68, was placed on the sex offender register for three years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work after being found guilty at Selkirk Sheriff Court of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

A charge of regularly sexually assaulting another youngster on the school bus over a six-month period was found not proven during the same two-day jury trial.

However Sheriff Drummond wanted to know how McMinn had been allowed to work as a school bus driver on a contract given to a private firm despite already having a conviction for lewd and libidinous conduct from 40 years ago.

The sheriff said: “You were acquitted after trial to other charges raised under your employment as a bus driver and also convicted of a sexual assault.

“In these days of disclosure requirements, it is a great public concern it has emerged you have a previous conviction for lewd and libidinous practices that was dealt with by a probation order.

“Yet you were employed in a position of trust transporting children in a rural location.

“I will be ordering that my disposal of this case is intimated to the education department of Scottish Borders Council to ensure that this does not happen again.”

At last month’s jury trial, the pensioner had denied the offence, which happened on various occasions at his home in Kelso, Roxburghshire, between April 2010 and March 2012.

A majority verdict convicted him of touching the 11-year-old girl’s breasts over and under her clothing.

Sentence had been deferred for the preparation of background reports.

Scottish Borders Council said a review had already been carried out to implement the Protecting Vulnerable Groups disclosure checks.

It insists all new drivers on council contracts will be vetted whether employed by them or with a private firm. The PVGs are also being used to check the backgrounds of all current drivers.

A council spokesman said: “Child protection is a key priority for the council. We have reviewed our arrangements around checking the background of individuals who drive council vehicles or those hired from private companies.

“These PVG checks provide impartial and confidential criminal history information held by the police and government departments which can be used by employers to make safer recruitment decisions.

“Robust systems are in place to look at any historical information that comes to light and interviews are undertaken with a potential driver where that information raises any concerns.

“Council staff are trained to understand how to deal with any issue that arises or any concerns that are raised. Child and Adult protection staff work closely with the transport section to ensure that concerns are dealt with promptly and to ensure passenger safety.”