A sex offender who tried to shift the blame for his offences onto his victim has finally fully admitted his guilt in court.
Robert Little (56) of Carluke, originally appeared for sentence at Lanark Sheriff Court last month after earlier pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a young mum in a Clydesdale village in July.
But at that stage a pre-sentence social work background report on Little outraged Sheriff Nikola Stewart as it appeared the sex offender was trying to shift blame for the incident onto his victim.
The sheriff took the highly unusual step of calling for new reports and deferring sentence further, warning Little, of 20 Brookbank Terrace, that she expected him to make a full and frank admission for the incident; even Little’s own solicitor threatened to withdraw from representing him if his client continued to try and avoid responsibility.
Little re-appeared for sentencing last week with the new report now stating he accepted complete - and sole - blame for the assault, partly committed in front of the victim’s four-year-old child.
His solicitor told the sheriff: “He has now accepted his guilt with no reservations.”
The solicitor then made a lengthy plea in mitigation, stating that Little had no previous convictions and claimed that the July incident had been a “one-off”.
He went on to ask the sheriff not to jail his client but to find some community-based sentence, adding: “I am not minimising what he did in any way.”
To this Sheriff Stewart retorted that “there was every attempt to minimise this” by his client, to which the solicitor responded by admitting there had been initial “blindness” by Little to his full guilt, adding: “He is now embarrassed and ashamed and his family is in court today to see that.”
The sheriff said: “If it was blindness on his part, then he was blinded by his own self-interest. As for the seriousness of the offence, this is as near to a High Court matter as you can get.”
The solicitor replied: “This does have a jail sentence written all over it, but I would ask that his age and his lack of previous offending be taken into account and that he be given a non-custodial sentence.”
Sentencing, the sheriff said: “I had concerns because someone who does not fully admit their guilt shouldn’t be trusted in the future.”
She placed Little on a three year Community Payback Order and on the Sex Offenders Register for the same period; she also imposed a four month 7pm to 7am home curfew order.