A top gymnastics coach has been jailed for seven years for sexually abusing three girls who had taken up the sport.
The court heard that Mills could offend again
Joseph Mills, 40, carried out the attacks on girls attending the National Sports Centre at Largs, in Ayrshire.
Judge Lord Menzies told Mills that he was guilty of a "disgraceful abuse" of his position over a prolonged period.
Mills had admitted four indecency offences committed against three girls between 1992 and 2000. The victims were aged between eight and 14.
Lord Menzies told Mills at the High Court in Edinburgh: "Parents are
entitled to expect that their young daughters will be safe when they go for
gymnastics or other sports education.
"Young girls themselves are entitled to expect they will be safe and
certainly not that they will be abused by the instructors who are meant to
be protecting them.
"The court can only speculate as to the psychological damage you may have
caused to your victims."
He added that a psychological report on Mills showed there was a real risk
that he would offend again.
"It is clear to me you require adequate monitoring and supervision on
release from a custodial sentence and that you pose a real risk to young
girls without such safeguards," said Lord Menzies.
The judge ordered that Mills should serve an extended sentence for a further
four years after his jail term when he will be kept under supervision. Any
breach could see him returned to prison.
'Scared to tell'
Mills was unmasked when his first victim came to suspect he was targeting one of the other girls and spoke to her on the telephone.
Advocate depute Frank Mulholland said: "They were scared to tell their parents face to face and eventually wrote letters to them. The parents were horrified and called in
The defence counsel said that Mills had himself suffered abuse earlier in
He had been assessed as requiring treatment to deal with his offending behaviour.