Sex offender remanded in custody

A sex offender who preyed on teenage girls has been remanded in custody.

John Masterman, 39, of Leaside, Mossbank, admitted intentionally or recklessly touching a girl in Lerwick, when he carried out offences between 1st August and 31st August 2018.

His offending continued with another girl during 2021 when he sexually assaulted her at an address in the town between January and June.

He touched her sexually, kissing her on the lips and hugging her, placing his hands on her.

On 22nd June he pulled her on to his lap and pulled up her clothing before kissing her.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard his second victim had been particularly vulnerable, having recently suffered a bereavement.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said police were called after the second victim’s mother became suspicious about Masterman’s behaviour.

Masterman was taken to the police station to be interviewed.

Questioned by officers, he denied allegations that were put to him, insisting any physical contact was simply to console his victim.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Masterman had secured alternative employment as a labourer since the offending took place.

His employment, he said, followed a period when he was not working.

Mr Allan said Masterman was complying with a community payback order.

“As far as I’m aware he’s not breached any of the bail conditions, and he has been on bail since last year for the matters which he is in court today.”

But Sheriff Cruickshank was not convinced.

He called for a social work report and restriction of liberty assessment to be compiled.

The sheriff told Masterman: “Given the nature of the offences I have to indicate that you are subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act.

“I have formed the view that it is appropriate, at this juncture, to revoke bail, and you will be remanded in custody.”

Masterman will appear for sentence on 30th March.


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