Penicuik man sent to prison for four years

Carroll was sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court following a trial, which was held in June.

Carroll was sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court following a trial, which was held in June.

A former director of a community centre and day nursery in Penicuik was jailed for four years at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last week.

Thirty-seven year old Simon Carroll of Eastfield Farm Road, Penicuik, was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for an indefinite period for sexually abusing two young boys when he was a teenager.

In court on Thursday, Sheriff Kenneth Maciver QC at Edinburgh Sheriff Court said: “You were found guilty of serious sexual crimes against two boys of around seven and eight years of age when you were in a position of trust.

“The very age of the boys and the nature of the sexual acts place this case in a category and gravity at the very upper limit of it being dealt with in the Sheriff Court as opposed to the High Court.”

Sheriff Maciver added that Carroll’s actions on the boys had had a lasting psychological impact on them.

“The combination of factors make this a case where the only appropriate disposal calls for a custodial sentence of some length.”

Carroll was visibly shocked as sentence was passed.

Carroll had been found guilty after a two-day trial last month of lewd and libidinous practices against one of the boys between 1993 and 1995 and between 1997 and 2001 with the other. Carroll was aged between 14 and 22 years during that period.

Carroll’s defence solicitor, Murray Robertson, said his client continued to deny the offences.

Mr Robertson said he found it very difficult on how to address the bench given the length of time since the offences took place. His client, he said, was now married with four daughters and his wife was standing by him.

Carroll, he added, bore no antagonism towards the young men or to the legal process, but because of his maintaining his position regarding the offences he was deemed not suitable for a community-based disposal.

He added that his client, who had had a highly visible position in Penicuik, had no other matters to come before the court.