An ‘odious’ sex offender who preyed on vulnerable youngsters in a children’s home in Newlands as been given a life sentence.
Alistair Findlay (60) was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow to a lifelong restriction order, with a minimum jail term of four-and-a-half years, after being found guilty of sexual abuse at Park Lodge Children’s Home in the 1970s and 80s.
Findlay was previously prosecuted – and then cleared – in 1984, following allegations made by residents of the home.
But in 2017, Police Scotland launched a further investigation after receiving a report of sexual offences which occurred at Park Lodge, and elsewhere in Glasgow, between 1976 and 1986.
Other victims contacted the police during the investigation, which lasted more than 18 months and concluded with Findlay being sentenced for his crimes.
Following the sentencing, Inspector James McLauchlan praised the victims who came forward to give evidence against their abuser.
He said: “Findlay is an odious individual who preyed on vulnerable young people who should have been safe in his care.
“I welcome his conviction and sentence and I am grateful to the victims who somehow found the courage, even after their horrific ordeals, to come forward and provide the information which allowed us to bring him to justice.
“I would also acknowledge the diligence of the officers who investigated his crimes and brought him before the courts.
“Police Scotland is committed to tackling sexual abuse in any form.
“I would encourage anyone who has been a victim to report it and I can guarantee it will be fully investigated.”
NSPCC Scotland, the leading children’s charity fighting to end child abuse, also praised those who had shown the courage to speak out.
An NSPCC Scotland spokesperson said: “Findlay was in a position of considerable power and trust over his young victims – something he exploited appallingly to carry out his sickening crimes.
“The life sentence he has received reflects the gravity of his offending and the danger he has posed to children across several decades.
“Abuse ruins childhoods and its effects last into adulthood, but the survivors have shown enormous bravery in speaking out about what happened and we hope they now receive the support they need to recover.”
Any adult concerned about the welfare of a child or young person can call the NSPCC helpline for free on 0808 800 5000.
Children can call Childline at any time, 24/7, on 0800 1111.