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Ex-US marine gave children he abused PlayStation games

James Ledbetter molested two boys and a girl in America and Scotland.

High court: Ledbetter will be sentenced for the catalogue of abuse (file pic).
High court: Ledbetter will be sentenced for the catalogue of abuse (file pic). PA

A former US marine gave children PlayStation games and money for sweets after abusing them.

James Ledbetter molested two boys and a girl in America and Scotland over a 14-year period.

The majority of the offences took place in Texas between 1997 and 2005, with a deal being struck between US prosecutors and the Crown Office for the case to be tried in Scotland.

At the High Court in Glasgow, victims of Ledbetter, from Falkirk, told of how he would give them video games and cash to buy sweets after carrying out sexual abuse on them.

The offences were committed between 1997 and 2011 and took place in the USA and Scotland.

One young victim was given alcohol before being sexually abused between the ages of six and 12.

Ledbetter showed another young victim, aged between 11 and 13, pornographic films before abusing him.

The girl Ledbetter sexually assaulted was 14 when he began inappropriately touching her.

The 53-year-old, who worked as a security guard, denied all the charges against him and claimed his victims were lying.

Ledbetter was asked by prosecutor Alan Cameron: "You are saying they conspired together to fit you up."

He replied: "Yes, that's what they are trying to do. I didn't molest anybody and why I'm here I don't know."

The court heard Ledbetter is now on an indefinite stay visa after being sponsored by his wife Laura, 53, a former nurse, who gave evidence on his behalf.

She said: "We were left devastated by the allegations. I asked him about them which he denied and said were untrue."

She was asked by defence QC Ian Duguid: "Did you have any concerns about your husband in light of these allegations."

She replied: "No concerns whatsoever."

Lord Burns deferred sentence on Ledbetter until next month for background reports and placed him on the sex offenders register.

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