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Football coach abused young boys over eight-year period

Alasdair McCulloch lured children into woods to play truth or dare before attacking them.

Alasdair McCulloch: Put on sex offenders' register.
Alasdair McCulloch: Put on sex offenders' register.

A football coach who abused a string of young boys has been jailed.

Alasdair McCulloch carried out the offences between 1998 and 2006, and knew some of his victims through coaching a football team.

The abuse involved at least six boys and included an occasion when he lured two children into woods to play truth of dare, then attacked them.

The 34-year-old, from Fraserburgh, pled guilty earlier this year to charges of using lewd and libidinous practices towards children over eight years.

On Thursday at the High Court in Glasgow, Lord Arthurson told McCulloch he "targeted young male children".

He said: "In these circumstances, you will well appreciate that on any view the gravity of your offending, given the nature, the period libelled and the number and age of your victims, merits the imposition upon you today of a substantial custodial sentence."

He was jailed for four and a half years and was also put on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

McCulloch also has a conviction from 2005 for a similar offence.

It was previously reported that one of McCulloch's victims - who can't be identified - told how seeing footballers talking about their own ordeals helped him report his attacker.

He said: "With football players being able to stand up and say what happened to them, it just gave me the courage to stand up and say it as well.

"I constantly have nightmares about it.

"I've got kids and struggle to be close to them. I struggle to have close relationships."

At the earlier court hearing it was heard the abuse involved at least six boys he had invited to discuss football tactics with him.

Advocate depute Ashley Edwards QC said on one occasion he led two children into woodland to play truth or dare and sexually abused them.

She said: "Neither understood what was happening or even realised it was sexual at the time."

The court heard McCulloch also performed sex acts while watching children playing.

Ms Edwards said: "It is estimated the accused carried out this behaviour around 30 times in total."

Defence counsel Derick Nelson said McCulloch is due to become a dad for the first time later this year and said he "acknowledges the harm that these offences have caused other people."

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