Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 18:13 UK

Former teacher convicted of abuse

Colin Macdonald
Macdonald covered his face as he entered court

A former teacher has been convicted of sexually abusing children in his care in the Highlands and Islands and Glasgow between 1973 and 1983.

Colin Macdonald, 61, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, was found guilty of 10 charges of abusing children from the deaf community.

He was refused bail at the High Court in Kilmarnock and remanded in custody.

The judge, Lord Malcolm, deferred sentence until next month for psychological and background reports.

During the two-week trial, the jury heard how Macdonald was a trusted instructor whose skills in mountaineering and outdoor activities placed him in demand at youth camps.

But he carried out attacks on boys in his care at various locations including Glasgow, Glendoll, Sutherland, Mallaig, Glencoe, Aviemore and the isles of Rum and Harris.

Abuse admission

His youngest victim was just 10 and the oldest 15.

Macdonald, who is originally from Glasgow, was finally caught after two of his victims exchanged text messages decades later and went to the police.

He later admitted abuse while being questioned by Northern Constabulary at Wakefield, West Yorkshire, where he fled after the allegations emerged.

High Court in Kilmarnock (picture from Crown Office)
Macdonald was denied bail at the High Court in Kilmarnock
During his trial, eight charges were dropped but he was found guilty of 10 charges of sodomy and attempted sodomy, sexual assault and lewd and libidinous behaviour.

Macdonald, who is deaf and unable to speak, communicated through a sign language interpreter in court.

Lord Malcolm refused bail and told him: "You have been convicted of extremely serious charges and I'm not prepared to grant you bail. You will be remanded in custody meantime.

"I will also be considering whether to refer your case to Scottish ministers under the Protection of Children Act with a view to your inclusion on the list of persons who are unsuitable to work with children."

Macdonald was also put on the Sex Offenders Register.

Former teacher on abuse charges
29 Jul 08 |  Highlands and Islands

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