Sentencing of child abuse ring postponed for second time

The trial at the High Court in Glasgow is believed to be the largest prosecution of a child sex abuse ring in Scotland.

Sentencing of Glasgow child abuse ring postponed for second time STV News

Seven people convicted of being part of a child abuse ring have had their sentencing postponed once more after a judge was told those involved require a second opinion from risk assessors.

The two women and five men were all convicted of crimes of “extraordinary depravity” in a drugs den in Glasgow where heroin and crack cocaine were used.

Some were convicted of harming two children and others of abusing three children, while four of the defendants were found guilty of attempting to murder a child following an eight-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow in November.

Iain Owens, 45; Elaine Lannery, 39; Lesley Williams, 41; Paul Brannan, 41; Scott Forbes, 50; Barry Watson, 47; and John Clark, 47, all face life sentences, and appeared at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday.

Four of the group, Owens, Lannery, Brannan and Williams, were found guilty of attempting to murder a child by pushing her into a microwave and trapping her in other places.

All seven were found guilty of taking part in the gang rape of a child.

An eighth person, Marianne Gallagher, 38, was found guilty of assaulting a child and was given a deferred sentence until January 2025.

Owens and Lannery were also convicted of multiple counts of assault, sexual assault and causing a child to ingest drugs and alcohol.

The hearing heard that all seven have have been risked assessed by social workers.

Their reports could lead to them being hit with a strict Order for Lifelong Restriction involving a jail term known as a “punishment part” that they must serve before parole.

Lawyers representing six of the seven asked for further time to instruct a second opinion from a risk assessor before sentence is passed.

Judge Lord Beckett previously warned they face “very substantial” jail terms for their “extraordinary depravity”, and said he was considering if an order for lifelong restriction should be imposed.

On Friday, he said: “Reports have been arriving in stages over the last few months. It was predictable that they took a long time to prepare.

“The unprecedented scale of seven risk assessors being instructed for one case, regrettably, but predictably, created difficulty for those wanting a second opinion.

“At this stage, those in the process of obtaining a further report of their own have to make progress with that.

“I am encouraging all of you to take very positive steps to speed this process up. It is in the interests of the accused and the public interest that this is not prolonged.

“This is in the interests of other people closely involved in this case namely the witnesses in this trial.

“I encourage you to use the absolute best endeavours to progress whatever investigations as effectively as possible.

“It is very desirable at the next hearing in September, that the court will be in a position to know if there will need to be a hearing for a notice of objection and what the scope and court time will be.”

The Judge was earlier told that Clarke is the only person who did not require a second opinion by his defence counsel Iain McSporran KC.

All seven had their remand in custody continued.

The Judge stated time already spent behind bars will be taken into account when sentencing.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in