Jedburgh sex attacker spared prison sentence

David Blair has been given probation and unpaid work orders.
David Blair has been given probation and unpaid work orders.

A man responsible for indecent assaults on a girl and woman he thought were sleeping has been spared a prison sentence.

David Blair, 51, admitted indecently assaulting a woman, 24 at the time, while she was staying over at his then home in Newtown after a night out with his wife in 1998.

She recalled waking to find Blair standing over her naked and touching her breasts and body under her clothing.

He also pleaded guilty to a similar offence involving an 11-year-old girl three years later.

Blair, of Jedburgh, admitted a charge of lewd and libidinous practices towards an 11-year-old girl by touching her breasts while she was sleeping in January 2001.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court heard the girl had “gone off the rails” after the incident but it was only last year that she felt strong enough to report it to police.

Defence lawyer Mat Patrick said the offences dated back a minimum of 16 years and his client had not been in trouble since.

He said: “He does not recall behaving in this way.”

However, he added that the offences happened at a time when Blair’s mental health was deteriorating and that was combined with a heavy alcohol intake.

Sheriff Peter Paterson put him on probation for three years and ordered him to carry out 180 hours’ unpaid work.

Blair’s name was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for three years.