A man accused of sexual offences against 12 females called his father from prison and asked him to delete his Facebook account over fears he’d get “nailed” by police, a trial has heard.
Matthew Watson, 36, is facing a total of 21 charges relating to his alleged conduct with 12 women and girls in Elgin, Inverness and across Moray – with three charges accusing him of raping two girls when they were teenagers.
He also faces a further charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Watson denies all the charges against him.
On the third day of the trial at the High Court in Aberdeen, jurors heard evidence from Elgin detective constable Grant Rigg as he read out a transcript of a call that Watson, made to his father in November 2018 – in which he asked him to delete his Facebook or he would get “nailed” by police.
Accused told father it ‘would save my life’ if he deleted social media account
DC Rigg read out his notes from a call from HMP Porterfield in Inverness in which Watson pleads with his now-deceased father to delete the Facebook account in order to stop police using it as evidence against him.
In the November 2, 2018, call, Watson asks his father to enlist a friend to delete his account, adding: “I’m going to get nailed in a week’s time.
“In a week’s time, they’re going to get more evidence on me. There is no way you can delete my Facebook account?”
Watson’s father tells him “no”, to which Watson replies: “It would save my life.”
His father again refuses, to which Watson says: “Oh well, I’ll take what’s coming to me.”
In a second call to his father a day later, he said: “Going to write to someone to ask them to do what I asked you.
“It needs to be done. It needs to be done.”
Watson’s defence counsel Bert Kerrigan QC made no cross-examination of the detective constable.
Women tell court they met Watson on social media site Bebo
Among the charges are two allegations of raping a female when she was aged between 15 and 17, and again when aged between 17 and 19.
He also faces a third rape charge relating to a female, who was under 16 at the time, and of assault with intent to rape relating to another female when she was between 14 and 15.
The charges allege that Watson started meeting underage girls around October 2005 and continued until October 2018.
Watson, of Mannochmore, Thomshill, Elgin, also faces nine charges of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards nine different girls under 16.
Earlier in the trial, the court heard from three women who claimed to have met Watson on the social media platform Bebo when they were teenagers.
Another witness, also now 28, told the jury that on one night between 2008 and 2009 Watson took her for a drive to an isolated pond before exposing himself to her.
Witness claims accused raped her when she was 14 or 15 years old
The court also heard from a 23-year-old witness who said she was raped by Watson between 2012 and 2013 after chatting to him on Facebook and WhatsApp as a 14-year-old.
She said Watson told her he was 17 years old and they agreed to meet near her home in Inverness.
The woman told the court that as soon as she got into Watson’s car she “realised he was not 17”.
She said: “I felt uneasy the minute I got in the car.”
The 23-year-old told the court that Watson groped her and she started to cry and asked him to take her home.
She said he then raped her in the passenger seat.
Advocate depute Craig Murray asked her: “Were you crying during that?”
“Yes”, she replied. “I realised I wasn’t going to get taken home until I did it.”
The court also heard from another 23-year-old woman who gave evidence that Watson sent her pornography and videos of himself carrying out sex acts on himself when she was around 14.
The woman said that as she and Watson exchanged messages over a two year period, he would “consistently” ask her to send naked pictures of herself.
The trial continues.
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