Glasgow & West Scotland

Ian McHardy, 68, jailed for abusing girls in Kilbirnie

A 68-year-old man has been jailed for three years for sexually abusing two young girls at his North Ayrshire home.

Ian McHardy, from Kilbirnie, attacked the children, who were aged between five and 13, between 1996 and 2010.

He was convicted of three charges of lewd and libidinous behaviour following a trial at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

Similar charges involving two other girls were found not proven while McHardy was found not guilty of two charges involving a 21-year-old.

He was also placed on the sex offenders' register for life.

Complaints ignored

The court heard from McHardy's victims who described their ordeals via video-link and from behind screens.

One girl, now 12, said: "I was sitting on his lap in a chair while he read a story when he grabbed my hand and forced it to his privates.

"I struggled to get it away and then I ran upstairs."

She added that McHardy's wife, Irene, did not listen to her and treated her complaint "as a joke".

The girl said Mrs McHardy told her: "I'll slap him later on."

'Not truthful'

Depute fiscal John Miller, prosecuting, asked Mrs McHardy, 64, why she had never asked her husband about the abuse claims.

She replied: "I didn't ask him about it because it never happened. I didn't believe them so I didn't have to ask him."

But Mr Miller insisted: "I put it to you that you have not been truthful. You didn't want to know. He was able to do what he wanted with those girls and they were scared.

"There were times when you were in the living room and one of them would be sitting on his lap and you didn't know or care what was happening."

Mrs McHardy denied this. She claimed the girls, who the couple had been looking after at the time, made up the allegations because their parents had fallen out with McHardy.

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