May 2022

Paedophile avoids prison to get ‘life back on track’

A pervert from Aberdeenshire that molested two schoolgirls and forced them to view pornographic videos has been spared jail and offered help to instead get his life back on track.

Alastair Bruce sexually assaulted the youngsters, aged just 13 and 15, and played adult videos in front of them in Aberdeenshire.

The 58-year-old was convicted following a trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in March.

At that time, the mother victim of his youngest victim branded Bruce a slimy creep and said his vile behaviour has had a devastating effect on her daughters life.

Today, she told us she was disappointed by the sentence and said it was unfair.

Bruce had denied the charges forcing his young victims to give evidence at the trial.

But a jury took less than two hours to convict him on all four charges by majority.

Bruce was found guilty of sexually assaulting the 13-year-old girl by handling and striking her on the buttocks and of sexually assaulting the 15-year-old by touching her on the body.

He also coerced both to look at sexual images by playing pornography in their presence and communicated indecently with them by making sexual remarks and asking them to engage in sexual activities.

The offences took place at his Aberdeenshire home between January and August 2019.

During the trial, the girls told the court how Bruce offered them energy drinks and cigarettes.

In her closing speech to the jury, fiscal depute Lynne MacVicar said the 13-year-old girl had given evidence that showed how Bruces actions had had a lasting impact on her.

Ms MacVicar said she had asked the child how it made her feel when Bruce said he wanted her to be his and wished she was 16, and that the child had replied: It made me feel disgusted.

Moving on to the 15-year-old girls evidence, Ms MacVicar said: What was her reaction to the touching? She was furious. It made her feel uncomfortable.

You dont touch a 15-year-old like that, its wrong, I have her noted as saying.

Bruce failed to show up to his sentencing two weeks ago and was arrested.

He appeared via videolink from HMP Grampian and defence agent Chris Maitland said he appreciated the court would be considering keeping him there.

However, he argued that a curfew would be a suitable alternative to jail, given Bruce was now able to move out of his caravan, where an electronic tag cannot be fitted, and in with his mother.

Sheriff Andrew Miller agreed Bruce had shown a willingness to comply with the various interventions that could benefit him.

The sheriff said supervision and a programme requirement would help Bruce get his life back on track and be more constructive and valuable to himself and to society than prison would be.

He added: I accept that your conduct towards these two girls was very upsetting to them and had an impact on them psychologically.

But I bear in mind you have no record for this sort of behaviour and I also bear in mind your life circumstances at the time.

The sentence has disappointed the mum of his youngest victim, who says her daughter was left suicidal after the abuse.

She told said: I thought hed be getting jailed especially with him skipping court last time. I think its a bit unfair.

My daughter has been struggling lately. She wont go to college or anything just now. Shes getting support from social workers and charities to speak to she is getting there.

I will have to break this news to her. She would have felt a little bit of relief had he been jailed. Its a shame about the outcome, but at least he has had two weeks in jail.

And at least it was in the paper and everybody knows his face now.

Bruce, of McKay Road, Macduff, must carry our 200 hours of unpaid work and take part in the Moving Forward: Making Changes rehabilitation programme.

He must also remain under the supervision of social workers for three years and agree to have no unsupervised contact with anyone under 16 during that same period.

He is also subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act.