Scots karting boss who used job as cover to abuse boys jailed

Andrew Fairley, exposed by STV News, was convicted on both sides of the border for sexual offences between 2005 and 2018.

Scots karting boss Andrew Fairley who used job as cover to abuse boys jailed Cumbria Constabulary

A paedophile who was exposed by STV News has been given substantial prison sentences in both Scotland and England for what a judge called “appalling conduct”.

Andrew Fairley was convicted on both sides of the border for sexual offences involving boys between 2005 and 2018.

The 58-year-old had used his position running a karting team for children as cover to abuse them.

In July, he was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court to eight years in prison – something which can only now be reported as proceedings against him in Scotland have concluded.

At the High Court in Aberdeen on Thursday, Judge Lord Richardson sentenced Fairley to an additional five years and six months in jail, to be served at the end of his English sentence, plus three years on licence once he is released.

The judge told Fairley: “You used your position running a karting club and local garage to befriend, groom and sexually abuse boys.

“You degraded them with sordid sexual practices for your own gratification.”

He added: “As you will surely recognise, a lengthy period in custody is the only sentence I can pass to reflect your appalling conduct.”

Fairley, from East Lothian, had been living in Argyll when he was involved in karting.

Boys would be taken on trips to circuits around the country and abused while staying overnight in his caravan.

Some of the offences happened at the Rowrah Circuit in West Cumbria.

After his conviction in Carlisle, detective sergeant Tom Windridge said: “Fairley used his position of trust to exploit his victims for his own fulfilment.”

The allegations against Fairley were first reported by STV News in 2019 after one victim was told by detectives there was insufficient evidence.

After the report a large number of calls were made to police which resulted in several more victims coming forward.

STV News also revealed Fairley had a previous conviction for indecent assault in 1996 – leading to concerns about how he was allowed to operate in sport.

The sister of one victim said on Thursday: “We are delighted that finally he is where he should be and will hopefully be there for a long time. But we’re also hoping that if he does get out one day then he won’t be able to do this ever again.

“This was a convicted paedophile who after pleading guilty left one town, went to another and specifically set up a karting team targeting young boys that were keen and gifted and wanted to get into sport as a profession.

“He was able to carry on without any checks across the UK, and that is something that Motorsport UK has acknowledged was an issue.

“Sadly even after two years of investigating this and rewriting their child safeguarding policies there isn’t actually anything there that would stop it happening again.”

Motorsport UK, the governing body for karting in the United Kingdom, has been approached for comment.

Police Scotland commended Fairley’s victims for coming forward and said he now faces the consequences of his actions.

Detective chief inspector Cameron Miller said: “Police Scotland is committed to tackling sexual offences to ensure the safety of individuals and communities.

“I want to make it clear to anyone who has experienced sexual abuse that there is no time limit on when you can report these crimes. We will always conduct a thorough investigation, no matter how long ago the incidents occurred and we will do all we can to bring perpetrators of such offences to justice.”

Anyone with any concerns or information can report them to police by calling 101 or calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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