Highlands & Islands

Man guilty of raping boy at Lochaber nursery

Mark Maclennan Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Mark Maclennan was on trial at the High Court in Glasgow

A man has been found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow of raping a young boy and of sexually abusing a girl from when she was 12 to 15 years old.

Mark Maclennan, 30, of Bath, was also found guilty of possessing and taking indecent images of children, something he had already admitted in court.

The boy, who was three, was raped at a nursery in the Lochaber area.

The girl was abused on numerous occasions in Stirling, Dunblane and Dunfermline.

He was also found guilty of having thousands of indecent images of children on a laptop that he donated to the nursery.

Maclennan was cleared of a charge of sexually abusing a girl at the nursery when she was aged between four and five. The jury found that charge against him not proven.

'Very unpleasant'

During the trial a taped interview with the boy was played to the jury.

In the video recording the three-year-old was questioned by police officers about the incident and said: "Don't like Mark."

The rape happened some time between 1 August 2012 and 23 May 2013.

The girl, who is now 19, said Maclennan touched her, on occasions, over a period of almost three years, including at a pantomime costume fitting. The abuse happened between October 2007 and July 2010.

Judge John Morris QC told Maclennan: "Given what you have been convicted of a prison sentence is almost inevitable."

He was remanded in custody and sentence was deferred until 27 February at the High Court in Edinburgh for background reports.

The jury of nine women and six men took 90 minutes to reach their verdicts.

Afterwards judge Morris told them: "This has been a very unpleasant case for all those involved."

The police inquiry into Maclennan was sparked after the boy told his mother of an incident at nursery. It later emerged it had been a rape.

The three-year-old's parents and friends cried and hugged as the verdict was given.

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