Alness man who abused two young girls jailed

Image caption, Inverness Sheriff Court heard that Maurice MacLeod breached a bail order

A man who abused two young girls for almost two years has been jailed for four years at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Maurice MacLeod, 45, had been found guilty by a jury last month of four sex offences which occurred between February 2009 and December 2010.

MacLeod, of Alness, also breached a bail order banning him from being in the company of girls under 16.

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood said MacLeod abused the girls for his "own perverted sexual gratification".

Police Scotland has praised the bravery of the children in coming forward about the abuse.

Sentencing MacLeod, Sheriff Fleetwood told him: "You have been convicted by a jury on what they found to be credible and reliable evidence.

"You abused two children for no other reason than your own perverted sexual gratification.

"I see no other possible alternative to a prison sentence."

Det Con Karen Oliver, of Police Scotland's Public Protection Unit, said: "Cases of sexual offences against children are always deeply distressing and I would like to thank the victims for their bravery for coming forward and during the court proceedings.

"I hope that the victims can take some comfort from the conviction and sentencing of Maurice MacLeod today."

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