Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Retired police officer jailed for child abuse in Anstruther

A retired police officer has been jailed for four and a half years after sexually abusing teenage air training corps cadets in Fife more than three decades ago.

Colin Fowler plied the youngsters with drink and molested and assaulted them at his then home in Anstruther.

Fowler, 76, earlier denied carrying out the sex attacks on two former cadets.

However, he was unanimously found guilty of the offences following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

A judge at the court told Fowler: "You were found guilty by a jury after trial of two serious sexual offences, sexual assaults, perpetrated between 30 and 40 years ago on the two youths aged between 13 and 16."

Lord Brailsford said: "The offences were perpetrated when you were in a position of trust in relation to both these young persons. You were an officer in the air cadets and in that capacity you were responsible for training given to these youths in the evening."

The judge pointed out that he was also a police officer which was "a position of considerable trust".

Groomed victims

Lord Brailsford said Fowler had groomed the victims by making himself a friend to them as well as a teacher and had also got to know their parents.

Fowler was convicted of assaulting one teenager by supplying him with alcohol and carrying out sex acts at a house in East Green, Anstruther, in July and August 1972.

He was also found guilty of assaulting a second teenager between July 1977 and July 1982, beginning when the victim was aged 13, by giving him drink and carrying out sex acts.

Advocate depute Alan Cameron asked one of the victims if he had considered reporting the abuse to the police at the time.

He replied: "He was a policeman. He seemed to know everyone in the police anyway."

Fowler was working as an officer with Fife Constabulary at the time of the offences and also served as a leader to cadets at RAF Pitreavie, near Dunfermline.

Defence counsel, Ronnie Renucci, said: "The prison setting will be particularly difficult for him."

He said his age, state of health and because he was a former police officer would perhaps make it more difficult for him than others.

Fowler was placed on the sex offenders register.

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