May 2022

Convicted paedophile dead

A convicted paedophile who was questioned over the disappearance of a Bonhill teen – who vanished more than four decades ago – has died.

Norman Duncan, 75, was found dead at his home in Ladyton last week.

Police Scotland confirmed officers had been called to an address in the Bonhill neighbourhood following a sudden death and confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances.

A spokesperson said: “Around 8.35pm on Wednesday, May 25, police were called to a property in Ladyton, Bonhill, following the sudden death of a 75-year-old man.

“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”

The pensioner was investigated by police over the disappearance of his stepdaughter Mary Duncan, who was last seen in 1976, aged 17.

Despite extensive searches for Mary, including at Norman Duncan’s home, the Vale of Leven Hospital and in Helensburgh, her case remains unsolved.

Officers swooped on Duncan’s house in 2019 in the hope of clues after launching a fresh missing persons probe.

A forensic team combed through the terraced house during a seven-day search, while Duncan was behind bars for twisted crimes.

In 2016, he was convicted of sexually abusing and impregnating a 15-year-old girl and sexually abusing three children nearly half a century earlier.

Duncan was found guilty of six charges involving four girls aged between the ages of eight and 15, in the 1960s and 1970s.

November 2016

Man jailed for getting girl, 15, pregnant in sickening sex assaults 50 years ago

A Bonhill man has been jailed for five years for impregnating a 15-year-old girl and sexually assaulting children nearly half a century ago.

Norman Duncan was found guilty of six charges involving four girls aged between the ages of eight and 15, in the 1960s and 1970s.

The 70-year-old’s trial lasted eight days at Dumbarton Sheriff Court and a jury of 15 men and women took less than two hours to return unanimous verdicts on each charge, on September 21.

Duncan, from Ladyton, was immediately placed on the sex offenders register and told that he would be imprisoned.

And today he was handed down a sentence of five years for the crimes.

Sentencing, Sheriff Mungo Bovey said:”Listening to the evidence in this case, it was impossible not to conclude that your conduct had a ruinous effect on the complainers.
“As [one of the complainer’s] put it, you created havoc in their lives and walked away leaving them to deal with it.”

Sheriff Bovey admonished Duncan on the first charge of lewd practices towards a girl under 16, by grabbing her and kissing her.

On a second of charge indecently assaulting a girl under 10 he was sentenced to 12 months. He was admonished over charges of sexually assaulting the same girl between the age of 12 and 14.

He was jailed for 12 months for another charge of lewd behaviour towards another girl under 12.

And for sexually abusing and impregnating a girl, 15, he was jailed for three years – making the total sentence five years.

A charge of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards a girl under the age of 16 and kissing her on the lips was found not proven during the trial.

Duncan denied all allegations, forcing three of his victims to give evidence in court.

The court heard that one of the victims, who became pregnant at the age of 15 following Duncan’s abuse, delivered the baby when 16.

She fled home a year later — leaving her baby behind with relatives — and has not been seen since.

Tragically, the baby died several months later. However, DNA evidence was produced during the trial that confirmed Duncan is the father.

The trial heard blood samples were taken from the baby when it was born, in the 70s, and kept on file in what is known as a Guthrie card.

This was kept in storage for almost 40 years in Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow, and later in Livingston, before being recovered by police investigators in January 2014.

They sent the baby’s blood samples to the Scottish Police Authority laboratory in Dundee where tests were carried out, along with tests on a mouth swab taken from Duncan.

Fiona McMahon, manager of the police DNA database, gave evidence at to say the baby’s DNA matched Norman Duncan.

She said there was a match at each of the 15 DNA markers tested and said there was only a 170,000 to 1 chance of someone else being the father.

One of Duncan’s victims told the jury she has suffered depression throughout her life, traumatic flashback experiences, and has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress.

She was allegedly repeatedly abused in a house in the Vale of Leven between the ages of eight and 14.

Another told how the sexual abuse has affected her deeply and impacted on her relationships with her family.

Speaking after sentencing, Duncan’s lawyer Owen Mullan said: “He [Duncan] is an elderly man of obvious poor health. His reputation is ruined.

“He realises he will be spending his final years, or part of them, away from his family.

“He knows his family will suffer too.

“The consequences of a custodial sentence for Mr Duncan could not be more devastating.”