Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Foster carer jailed after abuse

Paulnacha O'Mairthini
O'Mairthini fled back to Ireland ahead of his trial

A foster parent who abused four boys, then went on the run ahead of his trial, has been jailed for eight years and three months.

Paul Nacha O'Mairthini, 42, who lived in Perth when the abuse began, forced the youngsters to take drugs then sexually assaulted them.

One of his victims was in his care to get away from his troubled upbringing.

O'Mairthini is also a former boys' football coach and a council manager of child care resources in Orkney.

O'Mairthini, from County Louth, pled guilty to acting in a lewd and libidinous manner, indecent assault and failing to appear for trial.

He should have stood trial in April but escaped to his native Ireland after a Sheriff granted bail.

He was found after being taken to hospital because of a fire in one of his properties.

The High Court in Glasgow previously heard that he met his first victim in the early 1990s.

High risk

He abused him regularly at his then-home in Perth while the youngster was between the ages of 14 and 18.

O'Mairthini went on to abuse another boy from the age of 11. His next victim was a 15-year-old put into his care, then he abused a 17-year-old.

The Irishman had moved to Scotland in 1990 to work as an assistant manager at an outdoor centre near Dunkeld, in Perthshire and led children's summer camps in America.

In 2001, he moved to Orkney for his job with the council. He left a year later and opened a restaurant, which later closed.

When he appeared at the High Court in Paisley for sentence, Lady Dorrian was told that assessments carried out by one expert showed O'Mairthini posed a high risk of re-offending.

The judge said O'Mairthini had committed acts of serious abuse while in a position of trust and that one of the offences had been committed while his victim was being fostered.

She added that his details would be passed to the Scottish ministers so that matters could be put in place to guard against him ever working in future with children.

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