A dad of five was jailed for four years following his trial by jury last week after sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the Tannochside area of Lanarkshire.
The court heard Paul McLellan took advantage of the intoxicated teenager and molested her as she walked home.
McLellan, 35, of Robroyston, Glasgow, denied carrying out the assault in Spindlehowe Road on May 26 last year, but a jury found him guilty after a five-day trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court.
The victim and pals had spent the evening at a wooded area and she had left there and walked on ahead of them.
Sentencing McLellan, Sheriff Daniel Kelly said: “For some reason you had parked your van near that wooded area.
“This girl was on her own and you carried out a serious sexual assault on her.
“It’s a matter of considerable concern that a 14-year-old girl, who is still a child, could be molested in such a fashion when simply making her way home.
“She ought to have been free to walk the streets without danger. This is someone you had never met before.
“You maintain she consented to this, something she disputes.
“Clearly she had been drinking and was intoxicated. You took advantage of her in that state. Your actions, from what she said during the trial, have had an effect on her which has been immense.”
Solicitor-advocate Marco Guarino, defending, had urged the sheriff not to jail his client, saying a period of “intense” supervision could well be a suitable alternative.
Mr Guarino told the court: “My client has had issues for a considerable period. Drug abuse has blighted his life.
“This offence occurred at a very low point when he had been ostracised by his family and partner. He apologises to the young lady and her family.
“He has made considerable efforts to turn around his life and there is a job open to him in his father’s company.
“He has managed to get himself drink and drug-free.”
But Sheriff Kelly told McLellan, who the court heard has a 2016 conviction for domestic assault, that only a prison sentence was appropriate.
He also put McLellan on the sex offenders’ register for an indefinite period.