November 2016

Highland man who had sex with vulnerable schoolgirl has “narcissistic personality”

A man who had sex with a vulnerable schoolgirl has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Angus Francis, 27, will be on licence for a further three years upon his release from prison.

Francis, from Fort William, was sentenced at Dumbarton Sheriff Court yesterday.

He appeared at Oban Sheriff Court in September accused of having sex with the girl when she was just 14 years old.

During the trial, the court heard how Francis met the girl at a pub in Oban in 2012.

Giving evidence, the girl, now 19, said: “When I was 14 I was going through a really hard time.

“I was being bullied at school. I didn’t have many friends my own age. I had two older friends.”

After meeting Francis at the pub, they kept in touch by text before meeting to have sex a few weeks later.

She added: “He told me I couldn’t tell anybody because it was our secret.

“He could get into trouble.

“I knew it was wrong. I felt really dirty but he made me feel like I was wanted, that somebody on this planet wanted me.”

They had sex again in 2013 when the girl was just 15.

A jury found Francis guilty of twice having sex with the girl between April 1, 2012, and June 30, 2012, at two properties in Oban; and having sex with her on various occasions between June 30, 2012, and June 29, 2013.

Francis was due to be sentenced in Dumbarton last month, but this was deferred for a psychiatric report to be carried out.

Yesterday, Francis’s solicitor confirmed that he was given a clean bill of mental health in the assessment.

But the report determined that Francis did display a narcissistic personality.

Speaking of the circumstances of the case, Sheriff William Gallacher said: “It was abundantly plain to me that the young girl was open, or at least susceptible, to abuse because of her vulnerability.

“It may be that she was simply there and open to the abuse. She may have had a different perspective.

“That does not matter. The current legislation exists to protect children and imposes a responsibility on adults.

“It’s plain to me that you were aware of the circumstances of this young girl.”

Sheriff Gallacher said he had no choice but to hand out a lengthy sentence to Francis.

He added: “It’s clear to me because of the gravity of the offences that there is scope for intervening in your attitudes.

“And it is appropriate for me to hand out an extended sentence.”

Francis was sentenced to four and a half years, of which 18 months will be in custody