A 65-year-old church warden who sexually abused a child was jailed for 16 months on Thursday.
At Dundee Sheriff Court, Neil Morton, of Pitroddie Gardens, admitting sexually assaulting the child on two occasions.
The court heard Morton had worked as a storeman in the city for 40 years before taking on a part-time position as a warden at the Central Baptist Church on Ward Road.
His solicitor, Jack Brown, said his client had a strict religious upbringing and no previous convictions.
Depute fiscal Nicola Gillespie told the court: “Police were contacted on November 13 after the child made reference to the incident to its parents. When interviewed by police, the child gave a clear account of what happened.”
Morton was detained by police on November 21. When interviewed, the pensioner admitted carrying out a sexual offence on one occasion.
At the sheriff court, Morton admitted that on two occasions, between 2010 and last year, he sexually assaulted a child.
Mr Brown told the court his client was “truly remorseful” and entirely accepted his guilt.
He said: “He had a strict religious upbringing and a strong work ethic securing employment for over 40 years. Following retirement three years ago, he was immediately employed as a caretaker within the church community.
“He can offer no explanation for his behaviour.”
Sheriff Richard Davidson placed Morton on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
He said: “You pled guilty at an early stage to a charge that on two occasions you assaulted a child.
“It’s impossible to over-state the harm you’ve caused this child and its family. I cannot understand what came over you.
“The difficulty is we can’t assess the effect of sexual abuse, which can be long-standing and destructive to the young person’s ability to make relationships.
“It’s an extraordinarily sad state of affairs that you’ve got to the stage you have done, without prior conviction, to have this blown out of the water.
“I cannot contemplate having children thinking someone can do this to them without a strong element of punishment.”
Morton was jailed for 16 months with an extended sentence of two years.