January 2012

Pervert jailed for sex attacks on Monklands girls

A former soldier was jailed for more than four years for the “horrific” sexual abuse of three young Monklands girls from the same family.

Thomas Cairns (63) pleaded guilty to a number of sexual offences carried out over a period of 37 years.

His first victim was just seven years of age when he began abusing her while he was in the army.

Cairns, now of Telford in England, carried out the attacks while he was serving in Germany and Hong Kong and the child visited on holiday.

His vile behaviour, which included forcing the girl to perform sex acts on him and watch pornography, continued until she was 15 and also took place at an address in Millbrae Court in the Kirkwood area of Coatbridge.

Cairns turned his attention to his second victim on two separate occasions, on December 23 2006 and December 31 2007, at a house in Rosebank Terrace, Bargeddie.

The girl was 11 years old when he first tried to touch her private parts by placing his hand inside her pyjamas.

And it was at the same address on December 23, 2008, that he sexually assaulted his third victim, aged just 10 at the time. He would carry out another sex attack against the same girl two years later.

Cairns appeared at Airdrie Sheriff Court last week to be sentenced after pleading guilty to four charges.

His victims sat together in the front row of the public gallery as Cairns, bald-headed and wearing glasses, sat in the dock.

His lawyer Brian Selby told the court that Cairns had “the support of his wife and family”. His wife and only son were in court, sitting at the back of the public gallery.

Mr Selby added: “He is totally ashamed of what has happened. What he wishes to do is take his punishment and come back into the community a better person.”

Sentencing Cairns to four years and two months in prison, Sheriff John C Morris said: “You carried out a horrific catalogue of abuse within the family circle.

“Your sentence would have been longer had you not pled guilty at an early stage.”

Sheriff Morris also placed Cairns on the sex offenders’ register for life.

As Cairns was taken from the dock to begin his sentence, he looked past his victims – at least one of whom could be seen crying – to his wife and son.

The Advertiser spoke to the family involved but they told us they did not wish to comment on the case.