Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee church warden Neil Morton admits abusing eight-year-old girl

Neil Morton
Image caption Neil Morton faces jail after admitting he sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl

A Dundee church warden is facing jail after he admitted sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl.

Dundee Sheriff Court was told that Neil Morton, 65, carried out the crimes while he was looking after the child for her parents.

He attacked the girl on two occasions between 1 December 2010 and 12 July 2012 in a bedroom at his home.

Sheriff Richard Davidson described Morton's actions as "disturbing" and deferred sentence until next month.

The court heard the abuse only came to light after the girl told her parents that she did not want to go back to stay at Morton's home again.

She later told police that Morton was "doing things that were wrong".

Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told the court that Morton had helped look after the girl since she was a baby.

"On Tuesday 13 November last year the girl was informed she would be staying at the accused's house that weekend," she said.

"The girl made a comment about not wanting to sleep there. She was asked about this but initially denied that anything had happened to her.

"She then stated that the accused had done things to her, but became upset and would say no more about it.

A joint interview was later carried out with the police.

'No excuse'

Ms Gillespie said the girl gave a "clear account" of what had happened, during which she said Morton had been "doing things that were wrong".

She added: "She said she was eight when this happened and that the second time it happened she told him that she didn't like it and it had not happened again."

Jack Brown, defending, said Morton was "truly remorseful".

He said: "He has no explanation and offers no excuse."

Sheriff Richard Davidson deferred sentence until next month for a psychological report on Morton.

He said: "This is a very disturbing plea you've tendered, and in very disturbing circumstances.

"I cannot imagine what possessed you to do this after the productive life you've lived.

"I can't hold out any optimism for you in terms of sentencing."

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