16 May 2014

Oban child abuse jury hears summing ups

A 78-year-old man has been described in court as a manipulative and dangerous child abuser.
Fiscal Eoin McGinty was summing up for a jury hearing the trial of Angus Grant of Ceol na Mara, 3 Vaul, isle of Tiree at Oban Sheriff Court.
The trial has heard evidence from four women who claim that Grant sexually abused them when they were children, one as young as three years old.
Grant pleaded not guilty to using indecent practices towards the girls at various locations over a period stretching from the late 1970s to the late 1990s, and a verdict is expected on Friday after the sheriff addresses the jury.
The alleged victims ranged in age at the time from three to 11.
Mr McGinty said: “Those who abuse children are manipulative and dangerous, and that is what I say Angus Grant is, manipulating situations when he is alone with children. Whether it is on walks, in a greenhouse, or simply taking advantage of a situation offered to him on a plate when a trusting child climbs into bed for a cuddle.”
He added: “It can be sanitised and dressed up in terms of inappropriate behaviour, inappropriate touching. But it is child abuse. It is sexual activity with children.”
Referring to Grant’s evidence he added: “You are to believe that four independent women have come up with a plan, concocted to bring about, for an unknown reason, the disgrace and downfall of Angus Grant. An immaculately executed plan which has culminated in a trial before a jury at Oban Sheriff Court.
“You saw them give evidence. You saw how raw these events remain in their memories many years later. You might agree that if these women are lying then there should be a shipment of Oscars winging its way to Oban as we speak.”
Defence advocate Sarah Livingstone said: “This man is presumed to be innocent, not guilty. How would you defend yourself if, after 30-odd years, somebody pointed the finger at you?
“But it is not his job to prove his innocence, it is the fiscal’s job to prove his guilt.
“You have to be satisfied these women are all credible and reliable. It is not a simplistic approach, but if you believe them that’s the end of it.”

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