A pervert pensioner sexually abused a young girl and convinced her his behaviour was “normal” – but was caught when she received sex education classes at school and realised what had happened.
Ronald Watson, 74, touched his young victim sexually on various occasions over a five-year period while she was under the age of 12.
The pensioner, who also exposed himself to the child, convinced her his sickening behaviour was normal.
It was only years later when the girl received sexual education classes at school that she realised she had been abused.
After disclosing the vile conduct to her guidance teacher, the school contacted the police, and Watson could now face a prison sentence.
‘Sexual education at school made her realise the accused was abusing her’
Fiscal depute Colin Neilson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court Watson sexually assaulted the pre-teen girl on “numerous occasions” by touching her to her chest and genitals.
He added: “The accused told the complainer it was normal.
“Sexual education at school made her realise the accused was abusing her.”
Mr Neilson said the girl eventually disclosed what happened to her guidance teacher, and the school alerted police.
During his police interview, Watson was asked how often he had touched the girl.
He replied: “Quite a lot.”
Watson, whose address was given in court papers as Kellands Road, Inverurie, pled guilty to two charges in connection with the matter.
He admitted sexually assaulting her on various occasions and indecently exposing his genitals in a sexual manner with the intention that she would see on various occasions.
The offences happened over a five year period in the 2010s in Aberdeenshire.
‘These are very serious offences and the court will be looking at every available sentencing option’
Defence agent Gregor Kelly said his client had instructed him to resolve the matter “at the earliest opportunity” to “minimise the angst and grief caused to the complainer”.
He added Watson had no previous convictions and had made a full admission to police.
Mr Kelly asked for sentence to be deferred for reports and reserved full mitigation for the sentencing hearing.
Sheriff Philip Mann told Watson: “These are very serious offences and the court will be looking at every available sentencing option.
“The one at the forefront of my mind would be a custodial sentence, but since you have no previous convictions I can’t sentence you to custody without obtaining a social work report and thereafter coming to the view a custodial sentence is the only appropriate sentence.
“While it’s uppermost in my mind, it’s not a foregone conclusion.”
He deferred sentence until April to allow time for the reports to be prepared.
The Evening Express approached Watson for comment outside court but he did not reply.