A former advocate has been found guilty of indecently assaulting two schoolboys more than 20 years ago.
Mark Strachan, 64, was convicted following a trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court of two charges of sexually touching the teenage brothers between 1999 and 2001 at two addresses in the city.
A jury of eight men and seven women took almost four hours to find him guilty by majority verdict on both charges.
Strachan – who the Press and Journal can today reveal wrote a legal textbook on the topic of sexual offending in 2015 – was described as a “man of power” who carried out “insidious abuse” upon the two boys.
Today, it can also be reported that Strachan was jailed for two years and stripped of his advocate role after being found guilty of fraud and attempted fraud totalling almost £50,000.
He was convicted at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in 2014 of submitting numerous false travel claims for expenses to the Scottish Legal Aid Board over several years.
Victim says verdict is ‘overwhelming’
Outside court, one of Strachan’s victims, now 37, was emotional as he told the Press and Journal it had been a “long, hard journey” in his fight for justice.
“The years of hardship of not understanding what happened were difficult,” he said.
“But eventually being able to come forward and get that closure for myself and my brother – it’s an overwhelming sensation.
“It’s still upsetting, but in a good way, because I know I’ve done the right thing in the end.”
Jurors heard during the trial how Strachan, while acting as the family lawyer, asked the boy’s parents if he could measure them as part of a “teenage growth study”.
He then took one 13-year-old boy into a bedroom where he measured his arms, legs and private parts with a measuring tape before handling his penis.
Another witness, who was around 14 or 15 at the time, told the fiscal depute Rebecca Thompson that Strachan did the same to him before tapping his penis with a pen.
“He wanted me to take it out and get it to grow – I told him, no.”
The witness, now 38, went on to say that it happened “two or three times more” after the first time.
As he took the witness stand yesterday, the former advocate repeatedly denied that the incidents ever took place – claiming he was working “absolutely flat out” at the time.
Strachan lost his temper with the fiscal depute after she suggested he could have altered time sheets to cover up his tracks.
Strachan – who was convicted of doctoring documents to falsely claim travel allowances and mileage fees during his 2014 fraud trial – raised his voice and called that line of questioning “a disgrace”, earning a stern rebuke from Sheriff Ian Wallace.
‘A different man from the man you claimed to be’
Following the verdict being handed down this afternoon, Sheriff Wallace warned Strachan that a prison sentence was a “very real potential outcome” and that he should “prepare” himself for that.
“You have been convicted of serious sexual offences against two children,” the sheriff said.
“In these offences, you abused your position as a solicitor and this is the second conviction that relates to you abusing that position.
“In this case, you concocted a story so that you could be alone with your young victims and you used the trust placed in you as an authority figure to sexually abuse them.
“It’s only from the courage of your victims speaking out that you have again shown yourself to be a different man from the man you claimed to be.”
Sheriff Wallace deferred sentence Strachan, of Leslie, near Insch, until next month in order for a criminal justice social work report and a restriction of liberty order assessment to be carried out.
He also placed the former advocate on the sex offenders register.
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