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Man admits sexually assaulting underage girl

A TWENTY year old who admitted sexually assaulting a minor has been placed on the sex offenders’ register ahead of sentencing.

Asa Tulloch, of St Olaf Street, Lerwick, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the girl, who was yet to turn 10 at the time of the first offence, on two occasions between June 2012 and August 2013.

The incidents, which took place at a local playing park and multicourt, involved him touching her over her clothing and placing his her hand down his trousers.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the first incident occurred when he offered to walk her home after she had been visiting a friend. It occurred at an age when she “didn’t know what was happening and wasn’t in a position to properly assert herself”.

The incidents were disclosed last year after she told a friend, who told her mother, resulting in social work and then the police being contacted.

Mackenzie acknowledged that Tulloch “hasn’t had the best start in life and has his own vulnerabilities”.

Defence agent Liam McAllister also referred to that, saying his client had been “an even more vulnerable man at the time of these incidents”.

Tulloch has something called fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition causing developmental problems that is “within the criteria for the spectrum of autism”, McAllister noted.

He said it was “very, very relevant” to the first of the two charges Tulloch had admitted to.

Sheriff Philip Mann said they were “serious offences because of the age of the girl involved”, though he told Tulloch there were “issues in your life that may explain, not excuse, what you did”.

Ordering a criminal justice social work report to be prepared, Sheriff Mann deferred sentence until 3 August, adding he was eager to find a disposal that will “assist” as well as punish the offender.

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