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Skerray man found guilty of indecent assault

By Court Reporter

A 49-year-old Sutherland plant operator who abused two women when they were young girls will be sentenced on March 9.

A jury found Christopher Mackay of Torrisdale, Skerray, guilty of three charges of indecently assaulting the girls between October, 1994 and 1995.

Sheriff David Sutherland deferred sentence for a background report, placed Mackay immediately on the Sex Offender's Register, and continued his bail.

The jury trial was held at Inverness Sheriff Court
The jury trial was held at Inverness Sheriff Court

Afterwards, one of his victims, who told the three day trial that she was showered with gifts to keep her quiet about the abuse she suffered, said: "I should be in tears. But I think I have not processed everything yet or the jury's verdict. It will probably hit me when he is sentenced."

Mackay tried to convince the jury that the women had lied about the offences because they were "jealous" of him being the recipient of property in the area.

But after almost two hours, a majority of the jury didn't believe him.

Giving evidence at Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday on the trial's first day, the witness told fiscal depute Robert Weir: "I thought I was a prostitute."

Mackay was originally charged with seven counts of using lewd, libidinous and indecent practices and one of sexual assault involving three young girls between October, 1990 and December 2014.

But only three indecent assault charges went before the jury.

The trial heard one woman was just aged eight when she was first assaulted.

"I was on a mattress on the floor and he was in a bed next to me. He put his hand on my stomach and then went further down and gently said 'it's okay, it's okay.' The following day he gave me £5 and some change telling me 'this is just for you. It's our little secret.' "

The witness wept as she described the abuse she suffered and how she would cross her legs or turn her back to try and make him stop.

"He would give me £5, £10 or £20 notes or the change in his pocket the day or days after. Other times I got branded trainers and a denim jacket.

"I never stopped thinking about it all my life. Then I heard he had a girlfriend with young children. I felt it was not right to keep it secret - the final realisation that the right thing to do was to come forward.

"I couldn't go on any more like this." she went on.

The second victim told how Mackay had placed his hand on her buttock and breast and asked her to kiss him.

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