Boys scared by serial offender

HAMILTON SHERIFF COURT
HAMILTON SHERIFF COURT

A serial offender has been convicted of following young boys and frightening them near his Netherton home.

Thomas Twycross stared at the youngsters, aged eight and 11, as they played in the street and tried to hide behind a wall and a car as he spied on them.

The 62-year-old has been jailed several times over the last 12 years for offences involving children and is behind bars again.

He was found guilty at Hamilton Sheriff Court of causing fear and alarm to three boys in Grange Avenue, Netherton, and nearby Rosehall Terrace and Oakbank Avenue on July 21 this year.

Allegations that he took photographs of them and touched one boy on the leg were deleted.

Twycross, of Grange Avenue, denied any wrongdoing and the court heard the boys failed to pick him out at an identification parade.

However, Sheriff Vincent Smith decided there was enough evidence to convict him. The sheriff deferred sentence until later this month and Twycross was remanded in custody.

The sheriff was told that he had been put on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period just three years ago.

Thomas Twycross was jailed for two years and eight months in 2012 after he admitted making indecent remarks to a girl aged 12 near his then home in Freesia Court, Motherwell. He also admitted having obscene photographs of children.

Neighbours were furious he had been housed beside them when they knew nothing of his disturbing background.

Twycross had been jailed in 2003 for pestering young girls at a park in Coatbridge. In 2006 he got a three-year stretch for stalking girls aged eight and 14 in Bellshill where he was living. He said then he was trying to change his ways.

More from the court in the Times & Speaker, out on Wednesday.