Child abuser dodges sentence for third time

Paedophile Richard Tattam, who admitted continual sexual abuse of two girls when living in Galloway, has avoided being sentenced due to delays with social services.

Appearing at the High Court in Livingston on Wednesday, a judge told 45-year-old Tattam his fate couldn’t be sealed because background reports hadn’t been made available - for the second time.

Judge Lady Scott said she would be submitting a formal complaint to Thames Valley social services, the agency where Tattam had been living since the breakdown of his marriage.

Originally from North Marston, Buckinghamshire, Tattam was married and living in Creetown and then Kirkinner when the abuse began on the two girls - one aged just nine.

The offences only came to light when one of the girls told her boyfriend and another indicated the situation to her doctor.

Tattam had bought the young victims gifts including adult toys and told one of them that by telling anyone what was happening, she would ruin her family’s lives.

He also tried to show her pornography.

When Tattam first appeared in Stranraer Sheriff Court in February, background reports were called for from the Thames Valley social work service.

Having read the reports in time for sentencing in March, Sheriff Kenneth Robb took the decision to pass the case to the High Court because he judged his sentencing restrictions to be too lenient for the case.

Tattam then appeared in at the High Court in April for sentencing but the court was told technological issues had prevented a report being compiled in time.

When this was the excuse again on Wednesday, Lady Scott called the delay “unacceptable” and said she would be minded to sentence him next time regardless of any reports being made available.

Tattam, a former BT engineer, will now been deferred until 30 July and his name has already been added to the sex offenders’ register. He was remanded in custody for sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh.