Extra jail for abuser who defied bail order

Sex offender James Smith had his sentence increased at Hamilton Sheriff Court when he admitted breaching bail conditions.
Sex offender James Smith had his sentence increased at Hamilton Sheriff Court when he admitted breaching bail conditions.

A sex offender who went back to live with the mother of one of his young victims has had 20 months added to his jail term.

James Smith (32) got three years at Hamilton Sheriff Court in March after he was found guilty of abusing two youngsters.

Smith met a woman through a website in Falkirk in 2012. He began a relationship with her and subjected her son, aged four, to a sex attack.

The boy told his dad Smith had assaulted him. Smith was arrested, bailed and told to stay away from children.

However, he started another relationship in 2014 with a woman from Motherwell and abused her daughter.

After his conviction in February this year it emerged he had breached bail conditions while awaiting trial by living with the mother of the second victim in Motherwell and Wishaw. This came to light when Smith failed to attend a police office to sign on the sex offenders’ register.

Police traced him to a house in Wishaw. The mother of the young victim had apparently welcomed him back, telling her sister the charges against Smith had been dropped.

Smith admitted breaching bail and the sex offenders’ register requirements.

Billy Hendry , defending, said Smith hopes to be rehabilitated in jail. He had not gone “on the run” after his conviction in February, but hadn’t been paying attention when told he would have to sign on the sex offenders’ register.

However, he was not at his mother’s home in Glasgow which was his bail address.

Smith will serve the 20 months at the end of the three-year stretch.

Sheriff Vincent Smith said the offences were “most serious”, telling the accused: “You were well aware of the original bail order and breached it. This is aggravated by the involvement of the child and the fact you continued to reside there for a considerable period.”

The sheriff found it “very difficult” to accept Smith had not been paying attention in court when he was told to sign on at a police station.