Teen left ‘shaking in fear’ after NorthLink sex attack

A teenager was left “in a state of shock” after a sexual assault by a much older man on a NorthLink ferry crossing last year.

Andrew McNab, 62, admitted carrying out the attack on the 17-year-old boy on 2nd August 2023 while travelling from Shetland to Aberdeen.

The boy had confided in McNab after being made to feel “uncomfortable” at the bar by a number of men, Lerwick Sheriff Court heard today (Wednesday).

He moved to another sitting area where he encountered McNab, who told him he would stay with him to look after him. McNab then gave him some vodka.

Early in the morning the boy began to feel sick and tried to go to sleep in his sleeping bag.

But McNab, from Mid Yell, lay down beside him and wrapped his arms around him, before stroking his back.

The boy had felt “uncomfortable by that”, procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said, and had gone out to the smoking area.

When he returned he told McNab he was going to move to a different area.

However McNab followed him, and asked him if he could lie on the boy’s legs.

Mr MacKenzie said the boy had wanted to move his legs away but had been “in a state of fear”, “felt quite frozen” and was “incapable of doing anything”.

McNab was pinning the boy’s legs down with his weight, the court heard, and was stroking his thighs.

“The complainer was shaking with fear”, Mr MacKenzie said.

The boy messaged a family member about what was happening, and they contacted the police.

And when McNab fell asleep, the boy was able to alert NorthLink staff who moved him away from the accused.

Police arrested McNab as he left the ferry that morning.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank deferred sentencing on McNab for the preparation of criminal justice social work reports.

He will return for sentencing on 8th May.


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