A FORMER children’s panel chairman who abused two boys he met through the hearing system has been locked up for 12 years.
Daniel Ross attacked one victim just moments before a meeting to decide the youngster’s future in the early 1990s. Ross had by that time already preyed on another vulnerable teenager while based at the panel’s Glasgow headquarters.
“The first time, it was like a grooming session”Victim
The 62-year-old returned to the High Court in Glasgow yesterday after earlier being convicted of six sex charges. This also included attacks on a young man Ross had originally met at a gay club in the 1970s.
Lord Matthews told Ross – who continues to deny the allegations – that he was guilty of “very grave offences”.
The judge said Ross’ involvement with the children’s panel could have been viewed as a “mitigatory factory” but here it had the “opposite” effect.
He went on: “It was your position which gave you access to the young vulnerable boys and who were entitled to look to you to make important decisions for their welfare.
“Decisions which should have enabled them to make the most of the poor start they had been given in life.
“Instead you grossly abused your position of trust and made decisions for your own benefit.”
Ross, latterly of Oldham, showed no emotion as he was lead handcuffed to the cells.
He pounced on a teenage boy at the children’s panel offices in Albion Street in Glasgow in the 1990s. The witness recalled how, as a youngster, he had been in care since the age of 11 and was later expelled from school in second year.
The victim, now aged 38, remembered Ross being in charge of meetings to discuss his future at the time. He told the jury: “At the start, I thought Mr Ross was quite a nice person. He came across that way.”
But the witness said that changed shortly before a hearing when he was around 14. The father recalled: “The first time, when I think back, it was like a grooming session. I was in a room and he put his hand on my lap.
“This was in the room just off where the panel was to be.”
As Ross continued to molest the youngster, he told him that “because of his position” he would “deny” what happened. Ross – who was also a special police constable – had earlier abused another young boy between 1985 and 1988.
He was finally brought to justice after an initial police investigation in 2001 did not bring any charges.
However, in 2012, a victim spoke to detectives. He told the jury: “The Jimmy Savile thing started up and brought everything flooding back.”
Brian McConnachie QC, defending, said: “Mr Ross maintains his position (of innocence) in relation to these matters.”
He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.