Tayside and Central Scotland

Predator Joseph Cunningham jailed for abusing five boys

A man who sexually abused five boys in the 1990s has been jailed.

Joseph Cunningham, 51, was told by judge Lord Pentland that he was "calculating, manipulative and controlling."

Cunningham admitted carrying out the offences at various addresses in Dundee when his victims were aged between 11 and 16.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison following a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

It emerged that one of Cunningham's victim went to police in 2003 but was told there was insufficient evidence at that time.

It was only when a second victim contacted officers in 2010 that legal proceedings were started.

Cunningham had been living in Spain since 2001 and a European arrest warrant was issued.

He was arrested in Gibraltar on 2 April and flown back to Scotland on 11 April.

The court was told that at the time of the offences Cunningham bought one of his victims a bike and allowed him to smoke and drink alcohol.

He also convinced the boy that his parents did not care about him.

Phone boxes

Cunningham blackmailed two other victims to perform sex acts by photocopying fake pornographic photographs of them.

He told them they needed to pay him £30 to buy the photographs from him or he would place them in local phone boxes.

Jailing Cunningham, Lord Pentland said: "Each of your victims was a vulnerable child of whom you took advantage for your own sexual gratification.

"Through the period of the early to mid 1990s your conduct was calculating, manipulative and predatory.

"The lasting effect on your victims is incalculable and in the case of two of the complainers it has shattered their lives."

Lord Pentland told Cunningham that he would have been jailed for 12 years had it not been for his early guilty plea.

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