Man, 40, spared jail after sexually assaulting two teenage girls

A 40-year-old man who sexually assaulted two teenage girls has been spared jail.

John Masterman, of Leaside, Mossbank, had previously admitted charges involving girls aged 14 and 16.

He returned to Lerwick Sheriff Court for sentencing today (Thursday).

Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov, appearing via videolink from Elgin court, noted that his offences against the younger girl had involved a period of “grooming” before he “ingratiated” himself with her family.

She also raised concerns that, according to psychological reports, Masterman seemed to have been “distancing himself” from the behaviour he had pleaded guilty to.

According to the charges, Masterman had touched both girls sexually.

The court previously heard the younger victim had been particularly vulnerable, having recently suffered a bereavement.

The psychological report, however, found Masterman was suitable for a community resolution.

Sheriff Pasportnikov also noted that he was deemed low risk to the public and could benefit from rehabilitation.

She ordered Masterman carry out 270 hours of unpaid work within 12 months and subjected him to a two year supervision order. As part of the order, he must take modules in sex offending and alcohol misuse.

Masterman will also be monitored with an electronic tag for eight months to ensure he stays at home from 7pm-7am each night.

He must comply with sex offender notification requirements for five years.

Masterman’s offences involving the 16-year-old girl took place in August 2018 in Lerwick.

Those involving the 14-year-old took place between January and June last year, also in Lerwick.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client “took full responsibility” for his crimes and would accept whatever punishment he was given.

If you have been affected by sexual violence, support is available at The Compass Centre. Call 01595 747 174 Monday – Thursday 9am – 1.30pm or email


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