Glasgow & West Scotland

Extradited pensioner John Donnelly guilty of child sex abuse

A 74-year-old man who was extradited from Australia has been convicted of sex offences against children.

John Donnelly used return trips to Scotland in the 1970s and 1980s to prey on the young girls after he emigrated.

He was found guilty of indecency offences involving four children at houses in Glasgow and Prestonpans, East Lothian, between 1978 and 1988.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, sentence on Donnelly was deferred and he was remanded in custody.

The pensioner was also placed on the sex offenders register.

'Distressing' case

The accused and his family had emigrated to Australia in the 1970s.

The Crown took the decision to begin "lengthy" extradition proceedings to have Donnelly return to face Scottish justice in 2008. The Australian justice minister authorised his return in 2014.

Victims and supporters hugged as he was found guilty.

One woman who was abused by Donnelly as a child told the court she was "terrified" by what happened.

The woman said she confronted him when he went into her sisters' bedroom at a house in Glasgow and warned him to get out. She reported the abuse to the police in 2006.

Another woman told the court that when Donnelly was staying overnight at her home in Prestonpans, she had been woken up by her daughter, who said that he had touched her.

Judge John Morris QC called for a background report ahead of sentencing later this month.

He told jurors it had been a case which was "to say the least, distressing".