Police issue statement after conviction


A grandfather who swapped legal highs for sexual favours from an underage girl in a cemetery today (Thursday) wept in the dock as he was jailed for two years eight months and placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Derek Stewart, 51, met the teenager via the Kik messenger app last January after he added her as a friend on the social network.

He first offered to supply her with legal highs and met her on February 27 2015 to hand the first batch over.

Days later, on March 2, the girl told a school friend they were to meet again for another exchange.

He told her he “did not want money” and said he wanted to “have fun” with her - before proposing she carried out sex acts on him.

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Forfar Sheriff Court that they continued to exchange messages and met at 4pm at a park, Carnoustie.

Miss Robertson said: “He asked the complainer if she would be wearing her school uniform.

“He also told her that he would supply her with legal highs on a regular basis if she agreed to perform sexual acts on him.”

Miss Robertson said the girl then performed a sex act on Stewart, a painter and decorator who had been married for 32 years at the time of the offence.

She said: “The girls school friends passed information to the depute head of their school and she was jointly interviewed on March 4 last year.

“His mobile phone was later examined and he was detained.

“He admitted having communicated with the complainer and that it was sexual in nature.

“He admitted supplying her with legal highs and that he had asked her to perform sex acts on him as payment.

“He admitted she knew she was a school pupil and that he asked her to send him a photo of her wearing school uniform.”

It was also revealed that he denied knowing she was underage, and maintained he had not seen a message from her stating how old she was.

Stewart, 51, of Hazelwood Close, Dundee, pleaded guilty on indictment to two charges under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act.

Sheriff Gregor Murray jailed Stewart for two years eight months and placed him on the sex offender’s register for life.

Police Scotland released a statement following the sentencing of Stewart.

Detective Inspector Scott Fotheringham said: “This was a protracted police investigation carried out by the Public Protection Unit in Tayside Division.

“Police Scotland is committed to the protection of vulnerable young people who regularly communicate with unknown persons online. Today’s sentencing sends a clear message to those persons who seek to target children and young people in this manner for the purposes sexual activity.

“Officers work alongside partner agencies and are committed to ensuring that all incidents of sexual exploitation involving children or young persons are professionally and thoroughly investigated. We are acutely aware of the potential impact on the victims of these types of crimes and will ensure by the use of specially trained officers that they receive a tailored, sensitive approach providing support on every occasion.

“Those individuals who pose the greatest risk of harm will be actively targeted and those who seek to sexually exploit children or young persons can expect a robust response. Anyone who has concerns about a child or young person that they believe may be at risk of sexual exploitation is asked to contact Police Scotland on the non-emergency telephone number 101.

“Alternatively concerns may be reported to local Social Work Departments or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”