A Lochaber man admitted a string of assaults against children over ten years – including one to the danger of life.
John Cullen slapped, punched and kicked his victims, threw plates and choked some of them – including a bizarre incident where he stuck playdough to a child’s face.
The child swallowed some of the dough in an attempt to breathe, Inverness Sheriff Court heard on Monday.
Hotel worker Cullen, 44, appeared in person and pleaded guilty to six assault charges – four of causing injury, one to the danger of life and one causing permanent disfigurement.
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, of Carn Dearg Road, Claggan.
The child who had the playdough fixed to the 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.
Defence counsel Tim Niven-Smith told Sheriff Neilson: “I accept this was a sustained course of conduct and that a custodial sentence is likely.”
He said that a psychiatric report had been obtained by the defence.
The advocate asked that first offender Cullen’s bail be continued despite the fact that jail was expected to be the outcome.
Sheriff Neilson allowed bail to be continued and deferred sentence until May 10 for a background report.