A Fife man was today (Monday) jailed for sexually abusing a young girl over a five-year period.
Blyth Stevenson (67), of Banchory Cottages, Kirkcaldy, groped the girl as she swam in public swimming pools.
The abuse began when the girl was 11 and took place in a house in Glenrothes and two leisure centres in the area.
The impact on the victim has left her feeling suicidal at times, a court heard.
Stevenson was found guilty of two charges after a jury trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court in June.
On various occasions between August 6, 1988, and August 5, 1989, at a house in Glenrothes he used lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards a girl, then aged 11.
On various occasions between August 6, 1989, and August 5, 1993,, at a house in Glenrothes and at leisure centres in Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes, he used lewd, indecent and libidinous practices against the same girl.
The victim told the trial that when she would threaten to tell an adult about the abuse, Stevenson would laugh and see they would not believe her.
“He just thought it was funny,” she added.
The woman said she would be taken to the swimming pools at Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy and while she was playing in the water, Stevenson would touch.
It was January 2015 before the victim told a relative about what had happened to her as a child and later that year she reported the matter to the police.
The abuse and the trauma of telling relatives about it has had a devastating effect on the victim, she told the court.
She said after telling the relative she was off work for six months.
“I couldn’t leave the house and at times it felt like it wasn’t worth it any more, this life,” she said.
The witness became upset during her evidence and described her ordeal as “a nightmare” adding “everything is just broken”.
Sheriff Charles MacNair jailed Stevenson for 18 months and placed him on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.