A Kyle man was sentenced to 18 months in jail last week for the “degrading” sexual abuse of two young children.
Alex Purdie, a former employee of the Co-op in Kyle, burst into tears as he was jailed at Livingston Sheriff Court last Thursday. In November last year a jury found the 59-year-old guilty of two charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices against a brother and sister when they stayed over at his former West Lothian flat.
The girl was aged between five and 10 when she was abused, while her bother was abused aged 11. Passing sentence, Sheriff Martin Edington told Purdie that the offences had taken place over a very substantial period, which made them “prolonged abuse”. He said Purdie had subjected the children to “degrading acts” and removed their clothing. The sheriff added: “This was a gross breach of trust in your relationship with the complainers who regarded you as an uncle.
“Although you were convicted after trial you remain perfectly entitled to maintain you were not guilty but that does not allow the expression of any remorse or allow you to work successfully on any issues you may have. You show some insight into the damage and distress done to these two young people by your actions.
“However, taking everything into account I have come to the conclusion that these offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate in the public interest, so you will go to prison.”
Giving evidence at Purdie’s trial, his female victim said he would shower her and her brother with treats such as energy drinks, chocolates and Swiss roll when they visited him. The woman, who suffered health problems that meant she had to wear a nappy throughout her primary school years, said Purdie committed a sexual act on her on more than 20 occasions when he changed her. Her brother gave evidence that Purdie first interfered with him when he was an innocent 11-year-old after playing a porn film on the TV. He claimed Purdie pulled down his trousers and rubbed his upper thigh before touching him intimately. On another occasion, after he had a bath, he said Purdie lay behind him rubbing his body against the youngster’s.
Paul Haran, defending, said Purdie had lost his job as a result of being convicted and that a prison sentence would mean he would also lose the tenancy of his rented home, which would be taken back by Highland Council after 12 weeks’ absence.