Highlands & Islands

Muir of Ord abuser told girls to bathe in wheelie bin

A 69-year-old man has been jailed for four years for indecency offences against six young girls.

A sheriff, who sent the case to the High Court in Edinburgh for sentencing, said Ranald Matheson, of Muir of Ord, had shown no remorse.

Matheson was convicted of 16 charges, of which 12 were for indecency offences. He had denied the charges.

The abuse began in 1995. It included getting the girls to bathe in a wheelie bin at a garage business he had owned.

He also gave some of the girls alcohol and made them watch pornography.

Previous bouts

At the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Brailsford told Matheson that he had been convicted of serious criminal conduct, which was "unacceptable".

The judge added that the public required protection from his behaviour.

As well as jailing Matheson, the judge ordered that he should be kept under supervision for a further three years.

Matheson was originally convicted at Dingwall Sheriff Court.

The court heard that one victim was asked by Matheson how she felt about his behaviour towards her. She replied: "Disgusting."

One girl was molested over a nine-year period.

Defence counsel Mark Strachan said Matheson denied any wrongdoing.

He said Matheson had diagnosed with prostate cancer after surviving two previous bouts of cancer.

Mr Strachan said a prison sentence was "inevitable" in the case, but asked the judge to consider imposing one "as short as possible".

Matheson was placed on the sex offenders register.

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