Former police officer jailed for abusing boys over 40 years ago

The High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
The High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
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Two men who were sexually abused by a former police officer more than 40 years ago have spoken out after their abuser was jailed for four and a half years.

Colin Fowler, 76, was found guilty of assaulting two teenage air training corps cadets more than three decades ago.

Fowler’s victims said they were “delighted” the jury had believed their evidence and returned unanimous guilty verdicts.

Fowler had denied carrying out the sex attacks on the two former cadets but was unanimously found guilty of the offences following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

A judge at the court told Fowler: “You were found guilty by a jury after trial of two serious sexual offences, sexual assaults, perpetrated between 30 and 40 years ago on the two youths aged between 13 and 16.”

Lord Brailsford said: “The offences were perpetrated when you were in a position of trust in relation to both these young persons. You were an officer in the air cadets and in that capacity you were responsible for training given to these youths in the evening.”

The judge pointed out that Fowler was also a police officer which was “a position of considerable trust”

Lord Brailsford said Fowler had groomed the victims by making himself a friend to them as well as a teacher and also got to know their parents.

Fowler was convicted of assaulting one teenager by supplying him with alcohol and carrying out sex acts on him at a house in East Green, Anstruther, in July and August 1972.

He was also found guilty of assaulting a second teenager between July 1977 and July 1982, beginning when the victim was aged 13, by giving him drink and carrying out sex acts on him.

Advocate depute Alan Cameron asked one of the victims if he had considered reporting the abuse to the police at the time.

He replied: “He was a policeman. He seemed to know everyone in the police anyway.” Fowler was working as an officer with Fife Constabulary at the time of the offences and also served as a leader to cadets at RAF Pitreavie, near Dunfermline, in Fife.

Fowler, of Harbourlea, Anstruther, told his defence counsel, Ronnie Renucci QC, that when he learnt of the allegations by one of the victims that he was “shocked, amazed and incredulous”.

Mr Renucci said the first offender maintained that he was not guilty of the offences but recognised that a prison sentence was inevitable given the serious nature of the charges.

The defence counsel said: “The prison setting will be particularly difficult for him.” Fowler was also placed on the sex offenders’ register.

In a joint statement, the two victims said: “Whilst Colin Fowler has received a sentence of four and a half years’ imprisonment, this case was never one of seeking to punish Colin Fowler.

“The motive behind witness A speaking out was to provide support for other potential witnesses. Witness B was merely looking for Colin Fowler to accept the wrong he had done.”