A man has been found not guilty of child abduction, but is awaiting sentencing for threatening to “kidnap” three youngsters.
At the High Court in Livingston, Derek Hornall (40), who the jury heard is known locally as “Alky Des”, was accused of abducting a three-year-old boy from the back garden of an address in Greenhill, Bonnybridge, on April 25, 2015.
During the trial, the mother of the child, who cannot be named to protect her children’s identities, told the court she had only left the three-year-old and his brother (5) for a matter of moments before the drama in Bonnybridge.
She told the court the mum saw a “stocky” stranger with a “circular face” lean over the wooden fence and lift her son up by the armpits. She said she saw the younger boy in the stranger’s arms as the man walked away at a “normal” pace, carrying the boy with his right arm wrapped around the youngster’s waist.
Despite the mum’s testimony, Hornall was found not guilty of seizing the child and detaining him against his will.
In a separate offence, Hornall was found guilty under Section 38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 of threatening and abusive behaviour towards three children last October.
A brother and sister told the court how a strange man scared them by threatening to kidnap them off the street.
The boy (12) and his little sister (10) said the incident happened in Greenhill Road, Bonnybridge, as they were on their way to school at around 8.35am on the day in question.
A jury was told that they both heard the man shout something like “If you don’t go I’m going to kidnap you”.
Their aggressor then added “Go on or I’ll phone the police”, the trial before Lord Woolman heard.
The terrified primary school pupils, who were with their little brother, then aged just seven, reported the frightening incident to their teacher.
Police were called and inquiries led to the arrest of Hornall.
Hornall, who was celebrating his 40th birthday on the day of the offence, denied behaving in a threatening and abusive manner by threatening to kidnap the three siblings.
Sentencing has been deferred for background reports until September 19 at the High Court in Glasgow.