A paedophile who “groomed”, met up with and had sexual activity with underage girls as young as ten faces a lengthy jail sentence.
At Airdrie Sheriff Court on Wednesday, November 9, 31-year-old John Reid, an engineer with British Aerospace, showed no emotion when his defence counsel Shelagh McCall QC confirmed he would plead guilty to 16 of the 37 offences he was initially charged with.
Prosecutor Gordon Crawford told the court: “Reid is presently suspended by his employers. He is single and lives alone.”
Reid initially appeared in May this year and was remanded in custody. His bail had been refused as he was on two bail orders from Livingston Sheriff Court for other matters. He was already on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Mr Crawford said: “Discussions took place with those representing Reid before the plea was tendered, It would be fair to say there were substantial discussions. The case relates to a pattern concerning young girls aged between ten and 13, where he contacted them through social media sites, sent them indecent images, met up with them and sexual activity took place.”
Committed in 2015, the offences took place on various occasions at several locations including Cumbernauld railway station and ASDA’s car park.
Mr Crawford gave details of one social media interaction with a girl aged 11 or 12 at the time. “He told her to put on a skirt and high heels, told her the would pay money and that he was a paedophile. He sent her an indecent picture of himself. She met him at Cumbernauld station car park in the company of two of her friends. They also met at ASDA Cumbernauld and at a bingo hall in the town. On each occasion he sat in the car performing a sex act on himself. On each occasion he gave the children cigarettes and money.”
The next offences happened between April 1 and May 31, 2015. He added another girl, aged 12, to Snapchat and asked her to send pictures of herself naked, which she didn’t do. He then sent her indecent pictures of himself as well as messages of a sexual nature. She met up with him and he gave her and her friends £20 and cigarettes to share.”
The court heard Reid’s next victim was a ten year old girl, who he also added to Snapchat and Facebook. Mr Crawford said: “He wrote messages to her telling her she was ‘beautiful’ and asking her to dress up in a skirt and high heels and caused her to look at a sexual image of himself he sent her by social media.
“He then engaged in sexual activity with a 12-year-old girl from Kilsyth, again adding her to his Facebook account, She did not know the previous victims, He made a video call to her of him lying on his bed performing a sexual act on himself. She met Reid on May 2 this year but took fright and ran off. He followed her, but she bumped into a woman out walking her dog and told her what had happened. The girl, when she went home, told everything to her mother.”
Reid moved his attentions to a 13-year-old girl, also from Kilsyth, through Snapchat and Facebook. She told him she was 14 and he wrote messages of a sexual nature to her on April 29 and May 2 this year.
As a result of the first meeting with a girl in Kilsyth, police obtained a partial licence plate number of Reid’s car and traced him through that and his Facebook account. On May 4, he was arrested and detained for breach of bail.
Mr Crawford explained: “He was originally arrested on breach of bail as part of the conditions were that he did not communicate with any persons over the internet, other than for work purposes or with family members, and have no unsupervised contact with any child under 16.”
Reid had three computers at his home in Castle Road, Bathgate. These were found to contain almost 500 indecent images of children, both boys and girls, and some of these were of the worst category. He pled guilty to child pornography charges dated from January 8, 2011 and March 19, 2014.
Mrs McCall mad no motion for bail for Reid and said she would reserve comments to the court until the background reports were compiled.
Sheriff Morag Galbraith called for a full criminal justice social work report, including a risk assessment as to the danger Reid poses to young children. He was remanded in custody and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register. Sentence has been deferred until December 9.