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Last Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
OAP jailed after years of abuse
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The court was told Cullen's victims are still affected by the abuse
A pensioner has been jailed for seven years for subjecting two boys to a sexual abuse ordeal which began two decades ago.

Judge Lord Kinclaven told James Cullen, 73, that his crimes would have a lifelong impact on his victims.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Cullen, of Motherwell, preyed on the children for several years. The abuse began when they were aged nine and 10.

Cullen, a wheelchair-user, had already being found guilty of indecency.

Passing sentence, Lord Kinclaven said that he took into account the ill-health and "undoubted disabilities" of Cullen, who has lost both legs, and his age.

Cullen, who was aged between 53 and 59 at the time he was molesting his victims, had sex with one of the boys and attempted to have sex with the other.

'Virtually isolated'

Both victims said he had ruined their lives. One of the boys said he had tried to kill himself after his ordeal.

Defence counsel Frances McMenamin QC said: "His physical disabilities are patently obvious. He is virtually a prisoner in his home already. He is virtually isolated."

Ms McMenamin said Cullen was a diabetic who was dependent on insulin. She added: "He depends on others for coping with his day-to-day existence."

Lord Kinclaven ordered that Cullen should be put on the sex offenders register.

He also said he would refer the case to the Scottish ministers under child protection legislation which would ban Cullen from working with youngsters.

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