A Western Isles sex predator who preyed on a string of children for more than a decade has been jailed for 10 years.
A judge told James MacLachlan that he was guilty of a “grave course of conduct”.
The abuse occurred between 1989 and 2001.
The 49-year-old – a former fish farm worker – was sentenced yesterday at the High Court in Glasgow.
MacLachlan, of South Uist, had earlier been convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl and sexually abusing another around the same age.
A third was as young as seven when she was attacked, while two boys – one just six – were also targeted.
Lord Beckettt told MacLachlan: “This was a grave course of conduct and unusually depraved sexual abuse.
“It has had a profound effect on the victims – an impact statement from one tells me in articulate and agonising detail how badly damaged her life has been because of you.
“Such is the gravity of these dreadful crimes, there is no alternative, but a significant custodial sentence.”
MacLachlan – who continues to protest his innocence – will also be supervised for four years on his release.
A jury heard how he groomed his victims – with the attacks always being carried out in silence.
Prosecutor Shanti Maguire said: “He is an utterly deviant, manipulative, sexual predator towards children both male and female.
“He was utterly indifferent to them as people, they were just objects to him.”
MacLachlan showed no emotion as he was led handcuffed to the cells.
Detective Inspector Donald Macdonald said: “James MacLachlan subjected his victims to horrendous abuse over a number of years.
“The strength and character of the witnesses bringing these utterly depraved acts to the attention of Police Scotland is commendable and it is thanks to them that he must now pay for his crimes.
“Any report of sexual abuse will be treated seriously and sensitively, no matter when the incident happened.”
A spokesman for NSPCC Scotland said: “MacLachan’s crimes are those of a predatory child abuser. With cold calculation and deliberate intent he inflicted more than a decade of horrific abuse against children, whose lives will have been devastated by his sickening actions.
“The sentence passed will hopefully provide a sense of justice to the victims, who should be praised for alerting the authorities and having the bravery to give evidence.”
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