Sex offender contacted children with prison mobile

A high-risk sex offender was given a mobile phone for his own safety after leaving prison, but used it to contact boys he had tracked down from newspaper articles, a court has heard.

• Serial sex offender contacted boys with mobile issued to him for own safety

• Donald Main attempted to get in touch with boys as young as 10 after seeing photos in newspaper

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• 24-year-old faces life sentence as judge condemns “incorrigible” Main

Donald Main, 24, who has a string of previous convictions for indecency offences against children, saw photographs of two named schoolboys in the local paper and found their family numbers in the phone directory.

Calls to their homes were discovered when police checked the phone issued to Main after he had been released from his latest jail sentence.

Main, of Elgin, Moray, admitted breaching a sexual offences prevention order (Sopo) by making telephone contact with boys aged ten and 13, as well as with another 16-year-old youth. He also entered Cooper Park, Elgin, while banned from it.

He is facing a possible life sentence after the judge, Lord Uist, who described him as “incorrigible” at the High Court in Edinburgh, called for background reports which could lead to an order for lifelong restriction. The case was continued until May.

The court heard that Main’s record included lewd conduct towards boys aged 11-13, the abduction of a 12-year-old boy at a swimming pool, and following another 12-year-old to his home and breaking into the house. The distressed child fled by jumping out a first floor window.

Main was assessed as presenting a high risk of sexual offending, and made subject to a Sopo. On release from prison on 3 December last year, he was tagged to confine him to his home between 8pm and 8am, and a detective constable was assigned responsibility for managing him in the community.

The advocate-depute, Richard Goddard, said: “The accused was provided with a mobile telephone by his supervising police officer. The telephone was to be used to ensure the personal safety of the accused and to allow him legitimate contact with his family and support agencies.”

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During an unannounced visit to Main’s home, officers saw two copies of a newspaper, one of which featured the names and photographs of two boys in connection with local events. Main’s telephone was found to have contacted the home telephones of the boys - their numbers were listed in the BT directory - and the teenager. They were traced and provided statements. None was known to him.

Mr Goddard said Main had spoken to the ten-year-old, who passed the phone to his father. He was asked his name, but did not provide it, and the father terminated the call.

Only a few minutes later, Main called the home of the 13-year-old boy, asked to speak to him by name, and said to him: “How are you mate?” The boy did not recognise the voice and said nothing, and the call was terminated.

Previously, Main had phoned the 16-year-old on three occasions. He had shared a cell with a former friend of the youth and had obtained his details from a letter left in the cell. Main pretended he was 18 and gave a false name. He asked for the teenager’s mobile phone number, but the youth refused and ended the call.

Mr Goddard said Main had been seen near a skate park within Cooper Park where two males in their early teens were on bicycles.

During a police interview, he replied, “No comment”, to each question, and made no reply when he was charged with the breaches of the Sopo.