Beast who preyed on young girls is jailed for four years

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A paedophile who committed a catalogue of horrific offences against young Cumbernauld and Kilsyth girls has been jailed for four years.

British Aerospace engineer John Reid, 31, showed no emotion as he sat in the dock at Airdrie Sheriff Court on Friday.

Jailing him, Sheriff Morag Galbraith said: “These offences were aggravated as they were committed in front of other children. I will impose a three years extended sentence upon your release when you will be on licence.”

Prosecutor Gordon Crawford last month accepted Reid’s plea to 16 out of 37 sex related offences that he was originally charged with.

Depute Fiscal Crawford said: “The case relates to a pattern concerning young girls aged between 10 and 13, where he contacted them through social media sites, sent them indecent images, met up with them and sexual activity took place.”

Reid, a bachelor, of Bathgate, West Lothian, is presently suspended by his employers.

The court heard the harrowing details of offences he committed on various occasions between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 at a car park at Cumbernauld train station, ASDA car park, Cumbernauld, and other parts of the town and surrounding areas.

Mr Crawford said: “He added a girl who was aged between 11 and 12 at the time, to social media sites Snapchat and Facebook. He told her to put on a skirt and high heels, told her he would pay her money and that he was a paedophile.

“He sent her an indecent picture of himself. She met him at Cumbernauld train station car park in the company of two of her friends. They also met at ASDA Cumbernauld and at a bingo hall in the town.

“On each occasion he sat in the car performing a sex act on himself. On each occasion he gave the children cigarettes and money.

“The next offences happened between April 1 and May 31, 2015. He added another girl to Snapchat, who was 12-years-old at the time and asked her to send pictures of her naked, which she didn’t do.

“He then sent her indecent pictures of himself as well as indecent messages of a sexual nature. She met up with him and he gave her and her friends £20 and cigarettes to share.”

The court heard his next victim was a ten-year-old girl from Cumbernauld, who he added to Snapchat and Facebook.

Mr Crawford said: “He wrote messages to her telling her she was ‘beautiful’ and asking her to dress up in a skirt and high heels, and caused her to look at a sexual image of himself he sent her by social media.

“He then engaged in sexual activity with a 12-year-old girl from Kilsyth, again adding her to his Facebook account.

“She did not know the previous victims. He made a video call to her of him lying on his bed performing a sexual act on himself.

“She met Reid in Kilsyth on May 2, this year, but took fright and ran off. He followed her, but she bumped into a woman out walking her dog and told her what had happened. The girl, when she went home, told everything to her mother.”

Reid’s next victim was a 13-year-old girl, also from Kilsyth, again contacted through Snapchat and Facebook. She told him she was 14, and he wrote messages of a sexual nature to her.

These two incidents happened between April 29 and May 2, 2016.

As a result of the meeting with the first girl in Kilsyth, police got a partial number of his car registration plate and he was traced through both that and his Facebook account. On May 4, he was detained and arrested for breach of bail.

Mr Crawford said: “He was originally arrested on breach of bail as part of the conditions were that he did not communicate with any persons over he internet, other than for work purposes or with family members, and have no unsupervised contact with any child under-16.”

Reid had three computers at home, all of which were seized. They revealed almost 500 indecent images, some of the worst category, of boys and girls aged eight to 14.

Reid pled guilty to taking or permitting to be taken, or made, indecent images of children at his home between January 8, 2011 and March 19, 2014.

Defence counsel Shelagh McCall QC said: “He was acquitted previously by an English court of a serious sexual offence.

“He is not a man in complete denial of what has caused this type of offending. He has been extremely candid that his conversations with these girls is sexually arousing for him.”

Reid was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for an indefinite period.

Detective Inspector Sarah Taylor, of Police Scotland’s National Child Abuse Investigation Unit, senior investigating officer, said: “Reid is a very dangerous man who contacted a number of young girls for his own sexual gratification.

“He was fully aware that the young girls he was contacting and coercing into sending intimate photos of themselves were children.

“Police Scotland will proactively use advancements in technology, digital media and the internet to investigate online abuse working in partnership with national and international partners, including cyber-crime experts and other law enforcement agencies.

“We have a full range of investigative tools and techniques at our disposal in order to identify and investigate those who exploit computer networks to sexually abuse children and young people.”