A FORMER policeman who preyed on young girls in the fishing communities where he worked was facing jail yesterday after being found guilty of lewd and libidinous conduct.
Iain Reid targeted children as young as three while living in a police house in Buckhaven, Fife, and later two-and-a-half miles along the coast in Leven, where he had bought his own home.
One of his victims, whom he abused over a five-year period, and who had to report her ordeal three times before he was prosecuted, was praised by the trial sheriff for her “fortitude” in exposing the “chronic and persistent sexual predator”.
Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that Reid, 66 and now a grandfather, “engineered” opportunities to be alone with children, enticing them into his house with sweets, a chance to pat his dog, or in the case of one girl, offers of lettuce for her rabbit.Once indoors, the former Fife PC touched them and rubbed himself against them in a sexual manner.
One victim, now 46, recalledbeing abused in a bedroom in the police house.
Another, now 35 and a police officer, recalled his smoker’s breath as he pulled her to him and whispered in her ear, before assaulting her and blocking her escape unless she kissed him.
She said she had tried to block out the 1980s’ incidents and did not tell police until they contacted her last year.
His third child victim, now 30, said Reid used to invite her into his house as she returned from school. She described a series of incidents of sexual abuse, “perhaps twice a month” from age six for five, at his home in Leven in the early to mid-1990s.
After a five-day trial, the jury of ten women and five men took two and a half hours to find Reid guilty of three charges of lewd and libidinous conduct towards the victims when they were girls, one of the charges aggravated by abduction, over a 17-year period, between 1980 and 1997.
Allegations that Reid abused a fourth girl in 1999, and sexually assaulted a young mother in 1982 when she went to lend him a Hoover, and abused a child in her early teens in his Datsun estate car at Methil Docks in the mid-1980s, were not proven.
All the guilty verdicts were by majority. Defence solicitor-advocate Krista Johnston said she would reserve her speech in mitigation.
Deferring sentence until 27 October for reports and remanding him in custody, Sheriff Craig Caldwell told Reid, a policeman for 21 years and a soldier for 12 years before that, he faced a substantial prison sentence and ordered he be placed on the sex offenders’ register.
Sheriff Caldwell said: “It is all the more reprehensible that instead of accepting your responsibility for your conduct, you required these victims to relive the abuse that you perpetrated on them.”