The owner of an Elgin fish and chip shop has admitted having sex with an underage teenager.
James Smith had a six-month relationship with the girl between June 1 and December 3 last year.
During that time the pair had sex several times at chip shop CJ’s Plaice and the adjoining Deano’s Direct.
Smith would also meet the teen at the caravan he shared at the time with his wife in Longmorn.
The couple shared messages about their illicit relationship on a secret mobile phone Smith kept hidden in a delivery van.
Yesterday the 61-year-old pleaded guilty at Elgin Sheriff Court to having sexual intercourse with the girl on “various occasions”.
Fiscal Alex Swain told the court that when the youngster was questioned by the police she could not recall how many times they had met up.
Miss Swain said: “Smith made advances to the girl. They continued their relationship which led them to engaging in regular sexual intercourse at CJ’s Plaice and Deano’s Direct.
“It’s not known how often this occurred. She has only stated that it happened on multiple occasions.
“At the end of the interview she broke down and became tearful.”
The couple’s relationship was uncovered when Smith’s wife discovered the secret mobile phone he had been using.
Contained on the device were messages between her husband and the teenager that indicated they were in a sexual relationship.
Police had to be called to CJ’s Plaice, which Smith and his wife ran together, following a “disturbance” after she confronted him about the texts at about 1.30am on December 4 last year.
Officers detained the businessman that night before taking him to Aberdeen where he was questioned.
Smith, of St Andrew’s Road, Lhanbryde, pleaded guilty to a single charge of having sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16.
Sentence was deferred until September 14 for reports to be prepared. Smith has been placed on the sex offenders register until that date.