An Army veteran who claimed his victims “enjoyed” the abuse he inflicted on them has been jailed for eight years.
Michael Taylor molested and sexually assaulted five boys and girls in Aberdeen after plying them with sweets and money.
He raped a seven-year-old boy and filmed it, before instructing another victim to video him carrying out sex acts on a six-year-old girl.
When questioned by police, he told them he had carried out the offences because he was lonely but insisted he had never forced the children and “if anything, they liked it”.
Crimes had ‘profound’ effect on his victims
Judge Lady Scott told the 71-year-old had perpetrated “abhorrent and serious” crimes against children over a six-month period last year.
A background report suggested Taylor is at high risk of further sexual offending.
Jailing him for eight years at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lady Scott said: “The effect of your conduct on these children and their families has been profound.
“I am satisfied you present a serious risk of harm to children.”
Taylor, formerly from the Garthdee area of Aberdeen, will be put on a three-year supervision order when he is released and will remain on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.
Army veteran brought to justice after boy told his dad
The laundry driver previously admitted five charges of sexually assaulting children aged between six and 11 in Aberdeen between March and September last year. He also admitted a further charge of taking indecent photographs of children.
The court heard he was first arrested after an eight-year-old boy told his father he thought Taylor might be a paedophile and revealed he had put his hands under his clothes.
He said Taylor told him not to tell his parents and had previously given him money for sweets.
Police recovered a number of devices from Taylor’s home and an examination of his phone revealed images and videos of children.
Advocate depute Leanne Cross said that when interviewed Taylor made full admissions. He said it was probably due to being lonely and that the “drink would have helped”.
She added: “He said that he was very sorry for the children and was ashamed but when asked for further details said that he never forced them and that, if anything, they liked it.
“He acknowledged that this was no excuse but reiterated that he did not force them and that they ‘enjoyed’ it.”
Defence counsel Michael Anderson said: “He has never been in trouble with the police before. He knows he is going to be subject to a sentence of imprisonment and for somebody of his age that is of greater significance.
“It is almost inevitable that given the gravity of the offences he has been assessed as a high risk.”
Praise for brave young victims
Detective Inspector Karen Main, from the public protection unit, praised the young victims for their “bravery and courage” for reporting Taylor.
“Michael Taylor is a sexual predator who preyed on vulnerable young children, manipulated and abused them. He exploited these defenceless young children for his own sexual gratification.
“Despite the appalling ordeal he subjected these children to, they have had the immense courage to speak out about what happened to them and their information has been vital to investigating this case. I would like to thank them for their bravery and courage. Their information was crucial to ensure that Taylor is prevented from preying on other young children.
“My thoughts remain with the victims and their families. I sincerely hope that today’s sentencing can bring them some solace in that the person responsible for these despicable actions has been held to account and now they can move forward with their lives.”