child abuse


Obese rapist’s scale of offences could go unknown

August 3, 2015

One of the victims of a 24-stone child molester has revealed she fears the full extent of his abuse may never be uncovered. Morbidly obese Stanley Sandison, 68, was last week found guilty of raping two children and sexually assaulting another three at addresses in Moray during the 1960s and 70s. One victim, now in her 50s, said she knows of others he preyed upon but who chose not to come forward - and voiced concerns that Sandison's campaign of abuse may have been even more widespread. The woman, who was raped by the retired distillery worker "about 10 to 12 times" as a schoolgirl, also outlined the lifelong ordeal she has since faced. She said: "I'm already aware of a few others who were abused, and I would not be surprised if there are more out there who have not come forward. "We have got justice now, but I would encourage anyone else who may have been abused to make their voices heard - not just in this case, but in any case. "I hope last week's verdict will inspire people to just speak to somebody, and to stand up for what is right. She added: "Something like this affects every part of your life. "I tried to bury it for years but unfortunately it didn't stay down, and I finally decided I was not going to let it lie." After hearing four days of evidence against Sandison, it took the jury at Elgin Sheriff Court just over an hour to declare him guilty of two charges of raping a child and four others which documented various incidents of sexual abuse. The woman said: "It was very nervewracking awaiting the verdict, but I just had to trust my convictions that the jury would give the right answer. "Hearing he was guilty meant that I was believed, and it meant he was outed for what he is. "It's taken me a lifetime to get this result." Following the jury's decision Judge Lord Turbull said Sandison had "callously abused the imbalance of power between children and adults". The victim said that, while in court, she took efforts to avoid glimpsing the man who had destroyed her childhood. She said: "I couldn't even look at him, I had to keep one eye covered so I couldn't see him. "I've never seen him since the time of the offences, but simply knowing he was there was enough to bring it all back to me." A special sitting of the High Court had to be convened in Elgin because the morbidly-obese 68-year-old was physically incapable of travelling further afield. Despite the jury's unanimous verdict, Sandison's counsel, advocate Bill Adam, took the unusual step of requesting that the judge release him on bail until sentencing later this month. Mr Adam listed a litany of health issues caused by his client's size, and said the care he requires might not be available in prison. But Lord Turnbull refused the request and ordered Sandison into custody. The woman, who believes the rapist and his legal team "played on" his size as a means of eliciting sympathy, said: "I was disgusted when Mr Adam asked that he be spared jail for the sake of his care, what about his victims' lives for the past 40 years?" She added: "The pain doesn't just go away because justice has been delivered, but this does feel like a weight has been lifted and I will now be able to move on. "I hope he never comes out of prison. "Once he gets the jail sentence he deserves, that will be closure then." Sandison will appear for sentencing at the High Court in Glasgow on Monday, August 31.


Trial adjourned amid fears for witness’s health

June 27, 2014

The trial of a man accused of committing a string of horrifying offences in the Highlands, including killing a kitten and threatening to cook a baby, has been adjourned amid concerns for the health of the Crown's key witness.