Galashiels 74-year-old admits historical sex offences against girls aged 11 to 14

A Borders pensioner has been put on the sex offenders’ register after admitting historical sexual offences against four girls aged 11 to 14.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 11:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 12:42 pm
Kenilworth Avenue in Galashiels.

James Forsyth, 74, pleaded guilty to four counts of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards the girls in Langlee in Galashiels in the 1970s and 1980s.

Sentence was deferred at Jedburgh Sheriff Court until Monday, March 16, for the production of a criminal justice social work report.

Two of Forsyth’s victims were in court to hear him admit those offences and, via his lawyer, he issued a public apology to them for his crimes.

Depute fiscal Claire Nicholls told the court his first offence was committed at a house in Marmion Road in Galashiels on various occasions between June 1973 and June 1975 involving a girl aged 13 or 14 at the time.

He made remarks of a sexual nature towards her, showed her pornographic magazines, unzipped his trousers and carried out a sex act in front of her and also forced her to carry out a sex act on him.

Then, between May and December 1976 at a house in Kenilworth Avenue in Galashiels, he induced a girl aged 13 or 14 at the time to handle his private parts through his clothing.

At a house in Brier Lane in Galashiels in 1978 and 1979, he pulled down his trousers in front of an 11-year-old girl and asked her to touch his exposed private parts.

At the same house in 1980 and 1981, he made remarks of a sexual nature to a 14-year-old girl, exposed himself to her and seized her hand and forced her to carry out a sex act on him.

The court was told that Forsyth would tell the girls he had broken the zip on his trousers and asked if they could help to fix it.

One 14-year-old girl, forced to jump out of a window at the house in Brier Lane to escape Forsyth’s attentions, said she had never felt so scared in her life.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said the crimes admitted by Forsyth were serious matters and called for background reports to be compiled.

He also ordered that Forsyth, of Scott Street in Galashiels, have his name added to the sex offenders’ register in the meanwhile.