Scots paedophile jailed after victims come forward

Gordon Knott was sentenced to four years' jail. Picture: Lesley Donald
Gordon Knott was sentenced to four years' jail. Picture: Lesley Donald
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A notorious paedophile who preyed on vulnerable children in a city’s care homes was jailed for four years yesterday after two more victims came forward.

Gordon Knott was originally sentenced to 16 years imprisonment in 1997 after he was convicted of ten sex crimes against eight boys and a girl in Edinburgh’s Clerwood and Glenallan children’s homes in the 1970s and 1980s.

But after a decade of freedom following his release in 2008 he was imprisoned again after two further victims spoke to police about the abuse they suffered from him while in care.

The men testified at a new trial at the High Court in Edinburgh that they had also been targeted by Knott, who was one of the first male house parents to be employed in Edinburgh children’s homes to look after disadvantaged and vulnerable children, in sex crimes.

Both said that as children in the local authority care system they were made to carry out sex acts on the man employed to look after them.

A jury earlier found Knott, 64, guilty of three charges of indecency against the two victims committed at Clerwood, at Arthur’s Seat in the city and at an address in the Liberton area between 1973 and 1981.

A judge told Knott: “You have been convicted by the jury of the repeated, calculated and predatory sexual abuse of two young boys while you were responsible for their care in children’s home.”

Lady Scott pointed out that the former house father had terrified victims and that rather than protecting them he had abused them.

The judge said that she took into account that he had not re-offended since his release from the earlier sentence and had been of good behaviour, but rejected a defence submission to spare him a prison term.

The abuse of one boy began when he was aged five. He told the court that on one occasion Knott had taken him to Arthur’s Seat on the back of his motorbike and after parking him took him up the hill.

Knott, of Carstairs Road, Carstairs, in Lanarkshire, had denied the latest charges to be brought against him following the two victims making contact with police, but was earlier found guilty of the offences.

Defence solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder said Knott had acted as a carer following his release from his previous jail sentence and added that a report prepared on him highlighted he could be managed in the community.

Knott was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.