Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Man jailed after playdough assault put child’s life at risk

Inverness Justice Centre
Inverness Justice Centre

A Lochaber hotel worker who assaulted a number of children over a 10-year period has been jailed for two years at Inverness Sheriff Court today.

One of 44-year-old John Cullen’s victims had playdough stuck over their nose and mouth to the danger of life. It was the most serious of the six charges he pleaded guilty to last month.

Sentence had been deferred for reports on Cullen of Carn Dearg Road, Claggan, who had also admitted four charges of causing injury, and one of causing permanent disfigurement.

Abuse carried out over more than a decade

The victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were attacked in Fort William between January 2006 and April 2016.

Fiscal depute Robert Weir told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that the children were slapped, punched and kicked.

Some were also choked or suffocated by Cullen. The child who had the playdough fixed to their face swallowed some of it in an attempt to breathe, Mr Weir said.

Other children were struck with plates, one on the leg causing a laceration.

Lawyer admits Cullen unlikely to avoid jail

Defence counsel Tim Niven-Smith told Sheriff Neilson: “I accept this was a sustained course of conduct and that a custodial sentence was likely.

“It is a steep slope to persuade the court not to impose a custodial sentence.

“He has no previous convictions and the offences stopped in 2016.

“For the past five years he has been of good behaviour, and he is assessed as being at low risk of reoffending.”

Mr Niven-Smith said the psychiatric report on his client referred to the suicide of Cullen’s first wife in 2002 and then the murder of a friend.

He said: “It was a turning point, life-changing events which triggered substance and alcohol abuse.

“He provides no explanation for his behaviour but he accepts full responsibility.

“He is deeply ashamed and accepts these children will be scarred by the trauma he caused.”

Jail only option

Sentencing Cullen, Sheriff Neilson said: “In my view, the age of the victims, the nature of the offences and the length of time over which they were committed are such that only a custodial sentence is appropriate.

“But your pleas of guilty meant that your victims did not have to give evidence.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]