A pervert convicted of sexually abusing two children has dodged a prison sentence.
Charles Gowans, of Osborne Place, sexually touched a child under the age of 13 while on holiday at a resort in Spain.
The incident occurred in October 2016 and in front of the child’s mother.
The 69-year-old also sexually touched a child under the age of 13 at two addresses in Dundee, on various occasions spanning almost three years between August 28 2014 and May 16 2017.
Sheriff Derek Reekie previously told Dundee Sheriff Court there had been an element of “risk taking” in Gowans’ behaviour, as the assaults on the pair had both occurred while there were other adults in the vicinity.
The court also heard Gowans had reacted with “indignation” when the accusations were initially put to him and he had denied committing any of the offences.
Sheriff Reekie added that Gowans had been “evasive” in his responses when he was questioned by authorities about his behaviour and that his answers had also raised concern about his credibility.
Gowans returned to the dock today for sentencing following the preparation of social work reports.
Solicitor Jim Laverty said the sheriff had a “stark choice” between a prison sentence and a community-based order.
He said: “In my respectful submission, not withstanding the offences which your lordship found Mr Gowans guilty of, custody is not inevitable as far as he is concerned.
“He is a man of 69 years that has never come to the authorities’ attention before and leads a very pro-social existence.
“Whilst the natural, knee-jerk reaction of many would be that custody is inevitable in my respectful submission when one takes into account all of the factors and circumstances, custody is by no means inevitable.
“The appropriate disposals are robust. He’s a man with a significant work ethic.
“I do not mean to belittle the offences but your lordship will deal with more serious offences on summary complaint. It’s been a very traumatic experience for Mr Gowans but it has also been a traumatic experience for his family.”
When passing sentence, Sheriff Reekie said: “I have spent a considerable amount of time contemplating the report and having heard evidence at trial.
“There is no doubt the offences I found you guilty of are serious, they are abhorrent and involve a significant breach of trust.
“There is also no doubt these offences meet the most serious consideration of a custodial sentence.
“Notwithstanding the nature of the offences, in my view having regard to the assessment of risk, you are assessed as being low-risk of reoffending, I am just persuaded there’s an appropriate alternative to custody.”
Gowans was placed on a community payback order with three years supervision, a restriction of liberty order keeping him indoors between 7pm and 7am for six months and ordered to perform 300 hours of unpaid work.
A conduct requirement was also imposed preventing him from approaching or contacting children under 16 unless supervised by an adult over 21 and unless contact is unavoidable or inadvertent.
Gowans was also placed on the Sex Offender’s Register for three years.