A victim has been commended for speaking out after being sexually abused by a babysitter by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
William Smith (66), of Langlees, was imprisoned for two years and placed on the sex offenders’ register for ten years after taking advantage of the boy, who is now in his mid-20s, at a house in Grangemouth between 1993 and 2004 when he was supposed to be looking after his victim, who was as young as seven when the abuse first began.
From then until the boy was ten, he targeted the child while he was sleeping, and also exposed himself.
Smith also abused a young girl, then aged just five to eight, creeping into a room where she was also sleeping, sitting on her bed and abusing her.
Smith, a former textiles worker at Racke’s in Grangemouth, denied using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour, but yesterday a jury at Falkirk Sheriff Court took just two hours to find him guilty. Their decision was unanimous.
The trial heard his victim had attempted suicide three times because of what Smith did to him.
Welcoming Smith’s sentence, his victim said: “It has given me the closure needed.
“Seeing him walk out of court a free man would have been a huge blow.
“He took away my independence as a little boy.
“I hope he now knows what that feels like.”
He added: “I really hope today’s sentencing encourages other victims to come forward.
“I’d encourage anyone who’s suffered any type of abuse to come forward and report it.”
An NSPCC Scotland spokesman said: “Smith’s crimes are every parent’s worst nightmare.
“He is a ruthless and dangerous predator who inflicted horrific abuse on young children he was trusted to look after.
“Sexual abuse is never the fault of the victim and the survivors have shown enormous bravery in speaking out about what happened to them. We hope they now receive the support they need.
“NSPCC Scotland works in schools and in the community to prevent abuse and anyone worried about a child can contact our helpline to report concerns.”
Any adult concerned about the welfare of a child or young person can call the NSPCC helpline for free, 24/7, on 0808 800 5000.
Children can call Childline at any time on 0800 1111.