Sex pest avoids jail sentence

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A man who sent indecent images and sexual remarks to a 13-year-old girl has narrowly avoided jail.

Alastair Darlington (28) was placed on a supervised community payback order for two years, told to complete 200 hours of unpaid work in nine months and placed on the sex offenders register for three years when he appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday.

Sheriff Derek Livingston warned him: “This is a direct alternative to custody. This was an unpleasant offence involving a young girl, however I note you are a first offender and pled guilty to avoid the need for her to give evidence at your trial.”

Darlington, from Lednock Road in Stepps, claimed he was drunk when he contacted the girl at her home in Stenhousemuir on November 10 last year.

Defence lawyer Lynn Swan said: “The offences were the result of alcohol abuse. He has now significantly reduced his alcohol consumption and has the support of his parents.”