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Supervision for historic underage sex charge

A MAN from Doncaster who had sex with a 14 year old girl in the late 1980s and early 1990s has been placed under supervision for one year.

Neil Bolton, of Norfolk Avenue, Bircotes, was also given 150 hours of unpaid work and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for one year when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

He previously pleaded guilty to using lewd, indecent and libidinous practises and behaviour towards the girl at a Lerwick address on various occasions or between 14 March 1989 and 13 March 1990, and repeatedly sexually penetrating her.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie previously told Lerwick Sheriff Court that the complainer was 14 when she began a relationship with the man, who was aged 21-22 when the offences were committed, and is now 50.

“They were aware of each others’ ages,” he said, adding that the relationship developed a sexual element.

It ended a couple of months after the man was caught with the girl by his own mother, who expressed concern about the age difference.

The offences came to light in 2015 when Bolton initially denied “knowing her at all”.

At the court on Wednesday, defence agent Tommy Allan said a social work report prepared after his client’s plea noted that there had been nearly 30 years since the offence.

The solicitor said the report recommended that a period of supervision could be a suitable sentence.

Sheriff Philip Mann said it was not an “isolated incident” as Bolton had a conviction for a similar offence committed not long after.

“But this was a consensual activity, so there was no element of coercion,” he said.

The sheriff said after taking into account the time since the incident and Bolton’s lack of offending since, he was persuaded that jail wasn’t the only option.