A “DANGEROUS” serial child sex offender who lured a string of girls as young as 15 into his flat to give them tattoos before sexually assaulting them after giving them the illegal inkings was today facing a lengthy jail term.
A sheriff told Paul McLellan that it was “perfectly clear” that he was “grooming some of these girls with a view to further sexual activity”.
McLellan was convicted after a three week trial of a total of 22 charges - 12 of illegally giving tattoos to girls under the age of 18 and 10 sexual offences.
One of McLellan’s victims told the trial she had met McLellan on Facebook after posting a message asking if “anyone did tatoos”.
She went round to his house, where McLellan groped her as he wrapped the freshly inked tattoo in cling film.
Other girls were subjected to degrading ordeals in which McLellan grabbed them and made them touch his genitals, exposed himself, tried to pull down their trousers and touched their private parts.
After a jury at Dundee Sheriff Court gave its verdict after five hours of deliberation, the court was told that McLellan had previously been jailed for three years in 2003 in England for two sexual assaults on young girls.
He was then in 2006 given a four year jail term for sexual offences against girls under the age of 16 in Scotland.
The court heard McLellan had only been released from another jail term just two months before he started his campaign of tattooing and sex attacks.
He was also on licence from his 2006 sentence at the time of the offences.
Fiscal depute Douglas Wiseman told the court that as part of his licence conditions McLellan was banned from approaching or contacting children under the age of 17 in any way, shape or form.
A sheriff told McLellan he may have to be sent to the High Court for sentencing as the maximum five year sentence available in the Sheriff Court “might not be enough”.
In his closing speech to the jury, Douglas Wiseman, prosecuting, said: “This man has quite deliberately been willing to tattoo against the law of the land.
“There’s no question of this being an accident.
“This is not a mistake, an accident or slipping hands - not a chance.”
But defence advocate Jonathon Crowe said the victims who gave evidence against McLellan were “silly little girls”, and added: “I suggest to you that pantomime season has come early and you have had front row seats.
“How can these girls all come to court and say he touched them inappropriately when he says he didn’t?
“They come in and give the party line as to what they can say to get him put away.”
However, the jury of 10 women and five men found McLellan, 43, a prisoner at HMP Perth, guilty of 12 charges under the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969.
He was further convicted of five sexual assaults, three charges of sexual activity with girls under 16, one of sexual communications with a girl under the age of 16 and one of intentionally exposing himslef to two girls under the age of 16.
Sheriff George Way deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports and a psychiatric assessment.
He said: “It is perfectly clear from all I have heard that you are a person who is a considerable danger to young girls.
“I have no doubt that the activities were entirely designed to entice young girls in to private situations in your flat and I have no doubt that you were grooming some of those girls witha view to firther
“Consequently I need to know a great deal more about your psychological and perhaps even psychiatric make up before I can pass sentence.
“It is fair to say that at the present moment I doubt my sentencing powers are adequate and I may have no choice but to remit you to the High Court for sentencing.”
McLellan showed no emotion as he was handcuffed and led to the cells.