A dangerous serial child sex attacker who inflicted “incalculable psychological damage” on young schoolgirls has been jailed for three years.
One of Warren Maclean’s four victims was just eight years old when he grabbed her at a play area behind St Valery Avenue, Inverness, and pulled to the ground.
She managed to struggle free but just a week later, on April 11 2023, the 47-year-old targeted a second child.
He seized a 10-year-old girl in a nearby park at Dalneigh and asked her if she wanted to see his penis. He then pulled down his trousers and underwear and exposed himself.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard that the girl’s trauma was so great that she and her family had to move away from the area.
The Press and Journal requested a mugshot of Maclean as we believe it is in the interests of public safety to show his face, however Police Scotland declined.
They said they have made “the relevant checks” and were unable to do so.
We have asked for them to provide their reasons for this refusal, but have not received a response yet.
Two more schoolgirls targeted
A year later, on April 18, 2023, two girls, aged 11 and 12, were waiting at a bus stop on Barn Church Road when Maclean cycled past before turning around.
Again, he asked them if they wanted to see his penis then began to unbutton his trousers. The girls – one of them a papergirl on her round – then ran off, fiscal depute Susan Love told Sheriff Gary Aitken.
They later returned with an adult and managed to spot Maclean.
One of his victims bravely took his photograph, which enabled police to identify him. He was arrested and later remanded in custody after two court appearances.
Sentence on him had been deferred for a background report at an earlier hearing in November last year when he appeared by video link.
He admitted two charges of sexual assault and two of obtaining sexual gratification by his actions and comments.
‘He says he was not right in the head’
The sheriff was provided with impact statements from Maclean’s victims and families and he referred to them when delivering his sentence.
Maclean, who previously lived in Gordonville Road, Inverness, was represented by solicitor advocate Shahid Latif, who conceded that a jail sentence was inevitable.
But he asked that it be of sufficient length to enable his client to participate in a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders.
Mr Latif said: “My client is absolutely ashamed, remorseful and regretful.
“At the time of the offence, he says he was not right in the head and was prescribed medication.
“He thinks there may be a correlation with that as this conviction is very different to the others on his schedule of previous.”
Sheriff Aitken took several minutes before jailing Maclean.
Victim feared she was going to be kidnapped
He told the grey-haired prisoner: “Whatever your motivation may have been or the cause, this was a course of conduct towards young girls which is entirely beyond the scope of what society regards as acceptable.
“The charge relating to the 10-year-old – that will be with her for the rest of her life.
“As a result of your actions, she and her family have moved house and she missed out on a period at school and it affected her grades.
“An eight-year-old child was walking home, was grabbed and pulled to the ground.
“She explained to her parents she thought she was going to be taken.
“The one thing that is drummed into children is to be wary of strangers. The damage to that child is incalculable and she has suffered significant psychological damage. I regard that offence as extremely serious.”
Paedophile banned from parks, schools and leisure centres
In relation to the bus stop incident, the sheriff added: “One was a girl who was engaged on paper rounds. She couldn’t do it anymore.
“Now if they see a man they don’t know, they run away and this is all down to your actions.”
In addition to prison, which was backdated to April 13 last year when he was initially remanded in custody, Maclean was placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.
He also had a Sexual Harm Prevention Order imposed for the next six years.
The restrictions on him include banning him from having contact or communicating with anyone under the age of 16 except if unavoidable and banning him from locations such as playparks, schools or leisure centres.
He must have any future address approved by the Sex Offender’s Policing Unit and had restrictions placed on his use of the internet and web-enabled equipment.