Child abuser is jailed for seven years

Gordon Stanforth was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Gordon Stanforth was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh.

A pensioner who sexually assaulted two young boys in Motherwell over a six year period in the 1970s has been sent to prison.

Gordon Stanforth (66) preyed on the youngsters - who cannot be named for legal reasons - between January 1971 and June 1977.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard he groomed the youths whilst coaching a football team, and attacked the duo when they were both aged 11.

Yesterday, at the High Court, judge Lord Boyd jailed Stanforth to seven years in prison.

Passing sentence he said: “You have been convicted of sexually assaulting two young boys more than 40 years ago.

“The nature of the offences show that there was a large degree of planning and grooming involved. You targeted two vulnerable boys. These are serious offences.”

The story emerged after Stanforth, of Tullibody, pleaded guilty to sexual offences at the High Court in Glasgow last month.

Sentence had been deferred for the court to obtain reports into Stanforth’s character.

At the previous hearing, the court heard how he was fined £150 in November 1974 for lewd, indecent and libidinous offences.

Stanforth was also jailed for two years in December 2003 for attacking a seven-year-old boy at a swimming pool.

The court heard how Stanforth began abusing his first victim in January 1971 at various addresses in the Motherwell area.

The abuse continued until January 1976. The details of what Stanforth did to his victim are so depraved that they cannot be reported in a family newspaper.

Stanforth repeatedly assaulted his second victim at a location in Motherwell between June 1975 and June 1977.

The court heard how the beast met the pair whilst coaching a youth football team. He groomed them for abuse.

The court also heard that Stanforth’s victims were “paralysed with fear” when he assaulted them.

Stanforth was finally brought to justice after police were notified years later about what he had done.

Both his victims plucked up enough courage to speak to the police about what he had done to them.

On Thursday, defence advocate Drew McKenzie told the court that Stanforth couldn’t remember his victims.

Mr McKenzie added: “He accepts responsibility for the offences but he cannot remember them.”

The court heard Stanforth told the social worker who was commissioned to write the report he thought his victims were motivated by financial gain.

Lord Boyd told Stanforth that this was part of the reason why he was imposing a seven year sentence.

He added: “It is clear that you haven’t accepted full responsibility for your offending behaviour.”