A sexual abuse victim today told how seeing footballers talking about their own ordeals gave him the courage to contact police.
The man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, spoke out after Alasdair McCulloch pleaded guilty to sexually abusing young boys over an eight-year period in Aberdeenshire.
Alasdair McCulloch, 34, who carried out the offences between 1998 and 2006, knew some of his victims through coaching a football team.
One of the victims, who helped bring McCulloch to justice, said: “My whole class knew about it. The whole school knew what he was up to.
“He’s ruined heaps of people’s lives so I would like to see him get at least 10 years.”
And the man said he was inspired to contact police after seeing footballers speak out on the news about their own ordeals.
He said: “With football players being able to stand up and say what happened to them, it just gave me the courage to stand up and say it as well.
“I constantly have nightmares about it.
“I’ve got kids and struggle to be close to them. I struggle to have close relationships.
“I had anxiety and depression. It’s ruined my career.”
McCulloch, from Fraserburgh, abused boys he had invited to discuss football tactics with him.
In a hearing yesterday the High Court in Aberdeen heard the abuse involved at least six boys. Advocate depute Ashley Edwards QC said on one occasion he led two children into woodland to play truth or dare and sexually abused them.
She added: “Neither understood what was happening or even realised it was sexual at the time.”
The court heard McCulloch also performed sex acts while watching children playing.
Ms Edwards said: “It is estimated the accused carried out this behaviour around 30 times in total.”
McCulloch pled guilty to a total of five charges of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards children.
Derick Nelson, representing McCulloch, asked for sentence to be deferred for reports and added: “The background report is likely to show a chaotic childhood, a history of neglect and abuse and may go some way to putting into context the offences which started when he was 14.”
Lord Arthurson warned McCulloch: “You will appreciate the gravity of your crimes means that in due course you will be receiving a significant custodial sentence.”
McCulloch, whose address was given in court as Buchan Road, Fraserburgh, was remanded in custody until the sentencing next month.
Police praise for victims who came forward
Police today praised the victims of Alasdair McCulloch for helping bring him to justice.
Speaking after he admitted five charges of historical child abuse, Detective Inspector Mark Lambley of the Police Scotland national child abuse investigation unit, said: “McCulloch is a predatory individual, who gained the trust of his young victims, before abusing them.
“I would like to thank the victims for coming forward and speaking to officers and the court about what happened to them.
“It takes a lot of courage to do so and I hope that the victims take some comfort in the fact that their actions have resulted in McCulloch now having to face the consequences of his actions.
“Regardless of when an incident has occurred we would always encourage victims to come forward and report any incidents that have happened to them.
“We take all reports of abuse, whether physical or sexual seriously and fully investigate the circumstances.”