Glasgow & West Scotland

Girl, 6, abducted and sexually assaulted by school worker

A school worker who led a six-year-old girl to a store cupboard, stripped her naked and took a photograph of her has been jailed for three years.

James Moran pled guilty to abducting the girl as she made her way back to a classroom from the toilet at a primary school in Glasgow.

The 32-year-old, of Dalmarnock, also admitted sexual assault by causing her to participate in sexual activity.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard he worked for a private firm at the school.

Staff said his role was "limited to school crossings, moving furniture and litter picking" and he had no direct interaction with children.

He was described as a "loner" who had "limited communication skills".

Teacher alerted

Procurator fiscal depute Lindsay Madden described how Moran had silently led the girl to the store cupboard before the assault in May.

When she refused his demand to remove her clothes, he took hold of her and stripped her down to her socks and shoes.

Ms Madden said the child grabbed her clothes back from Moran as he used both hands to take a picture of her with his mobile phone.

The court heard the girl told her teacher of her ordeal and later pointed out her attacker in the school.

Moran's phone was examined and showed a blurred image of a naked child in a room with boxes.

Defence lawyer Bill McCluskey said his client was described as "painfully shy" and his family had been the subject of online abuse as a result of his actions.

'Victim's bravery'

Sheriff Alan Mackenzie sentenced Moran to three years and put him on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

He said: "The crimes you committed involve a six-year-old child in an environment where she ought to have been safe and secure.

"One where her parents anticipated she would be.

"I consider that the offences are of the utmost gravity. I am in no doubt, as has been recognised, no disposal other than a custodial one is appropriate."

After the trial, an NSPCC Scotland spokesman described Moran's offences as "highly disturbing and predatory" in an environment where the child "should have felt secure".

He said: "His victim must be praised for her bravery in alerting teachers and identifying her attacker.

"Sexual abuse ruins childhoods and it is vital that she now receives full support to recover from her ordeal."

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