Highlands & Islands

Inverness man who molested two girls jailed

A man who molested a primary school aged girl and a teenager has been jailed for almost three years at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Matthew McCourt, 28, of Inverness, abused the youngest girl at a house in Nairn between 2007 and 2009.

He then went on to molest a 13-year-old girl in Inverness over 11 months in 2010. The court heard he also had indecent images of children.

Sheriff Ian Abercrombie said McCourt committed "truly terrible crimes".

McCourt was jailed for 34 months and placed on a four-year extended licence to come into force following his release from prison.

He was also put on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

No support

Defence lawyer Ken Ferguson said McCourt had mental health issues.

He told the court that his client was set to participate in a number of different programmes to deal with his problems while in prison.

Mr Ferguson added that the 28-year-old had no support from his family and they had ostracised him when the offences coming to light.

Summing up a report from a psychologist, Mr Ferguson said: "It is quite important he is kept under supervision."

He added: "It would seem appropriate to use an extended sentence in this case in the hope that the work of those looking after McCourt in custody will continue when he is released in to the community."

Sheriff Abercrombie said: "These are truly terrible crimes made worse that the first offence was over a period of two years."

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