May 2022

OAP tried to lure vulnerable six-year-old to his caravan

An already convicted paedophile pensioner from Arbroath who tried to lure a vulnerable child to his caravan has been given six months to improve his health if he wants to avoid a jail term.

Child sex offender James Hutchison was told he may be given a community sentence if his health improves after recently undergoing major heart surgery.

Hutchison, 68, targeted the childs family in a bid to lure the six-year-old away from his unsuspecting father.

Sheriff Gregor Murray said: Im obliged to take into account the whole circumstances of your case before sentencing.

I cant do that because of your recent surgery.

I would rather you return to full health to allow the social work department to assess whether theres a community-based option as an alternative to custody.

I will make it clear to you this is a case which crosses the custodial threshold and I need to see if theres a suitable alternative to that.

Bail was continued and sentence was deferred until November.

Sinister undertones to behaviour

Dundee Sheriff Court was told the child had suffered a life of trauma and was craving attention when Hutchison targeted him and his family.

The boys father had become friendly with Hutchison but was unaware he had previously been jailed for seven years for serious sexual assaults on children.

Hutchison invited them both to his holiday caravan in Banff and told the father he would take the boy away to a play park to give him a break.

Sheriff Murray said there were clear undertones to Hutchisons behaviour which made them sinister when he was subject to a sexual offenders order.

Hutchison, of Ladyloan, Arbroath, admitted breaching an order imposed in the year 2000, which banned him from being alone with anyone under the age of 18.

He admitted approaching, communicating and associating with a six-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at an address in the Angus town.

Multiple breaches of sexual offenders order

Fiscal depute Lora Apostolova told the court the boys father befriended Hutchison and would deliver his shopping as he felt the accused was being exploited.

He was convicted at the High Court in Airdrie in May 1988 and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

He has four convictions for breaching the terms of his sexual offenders order.

In 2000 there were concerns that young males were entering his home.

The order was granted and in October 2020 it was extended for a further two years.

Ms Apostolova told the court the boy had suffered trauma throughout his whole life, craved attention and the company of anyone who showed him nurture.

She said social workers were involved with the family when Hutchison invited them to join him for a break in his holiday home in the Highlands in autumn 2020.

Father unaware of offenders history

When he was quizzed, the boy said he knew Hutchison as he played cards on the carpet with him and knew him from driving around the town on a scooter.

The father was unaware of the conditions the accused was subject to.

He said he and the child would regularly attend play parks and the accused would join them.

The accused asked if he and the child would go away to the caravan in Banff.

He said he would take the child to the play park to give the father a break.

Sheriff Murray said: The Crown narrative strongly suggests you formed a friendship with a vulnerable family.