October 2015

Pervert (46) jailed for three years after being found guilty of sexually assaulting schoolgirl

A 46-year-old man who sexually assaulted an underage girl and took an indecent photo of her has been jailed for three years and eight months.

William Dempster, of High Street, Dalbeattie, was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for an indefinite period for the offence which Sheriff Brian Mohan described as being at the “higher end of the scale”.

Following a three-day trial, Dempster was found guilty by a jury at Dumfries Sheriff Court of committing the offence between August 2013 and January last year,

He was also found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice by disposing of a mobile phone at a bridge in Dalbeattie knowing that police required it for analysis.

Solicitor David Finnie said that Dempster had maintained his innocence and was supported by a close-knit family and submitted letters of support illustrating this to the sheriff.

He admitted that it was difficult to argue against a custodial sentence but asked that it be as limited as possible.

But Sheriff Mohan stressed that the jury had found Dempster guilty of taking advantage of a young girl and destroying potential evidence and there was no alternative to prison.

Charity group Children 1st welcomed the sentence.

Their director of children and family services, Mary Glasgow, said: “It’s always distressing to hear that a child or young person has been abused. This case illustrates how important it is to recognise how having a strong and trusting relationship with a young person allows them to speak up when abuse happens so it can be stopped.

“Our helpline, ParentLine Scotland 08000 28 22 33, is there for anyone who has concerns about a child.”