Pensioner jailed for five years over child sex offences

Edinburgh High Court

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A former Port Appin pensioner was jailed for five years today (Friday November 8) after subjecting children to sexual abuse more than three decades ago.

Former chef Malcolm Browning, 73, preyed on a girl, who he tried to rape, and a boy whom he exposed to pornography.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, a judge told Browning: ‘You robbed them of their childhoods.’

Lord Mulholland told the sex offender that in sentencing he took into account his age and the medical conditions he suffers, but he added: ‘You stand convicted of the sexual abuse of two children. No child should have to put up with his kind of behaviour.’

He said that reading a victim impact statement provided by the woman survivor of Browning’s abuse was ‘harrowing’.

Browning had earlier denied a string of sex offences, but was found guilty of three charges of indecent behaviour towards the children and of the attempted rape of the girl.

All the crimes were committed in Ayrshire between 1979 and 1984.

The abuse on the girl started when she was aged 11, while the boy was targeted from the age of seven. The court heard that Browning still maintained that he was innocent of the offences.

Defence solicitor advocate Simon Collins said: ‘He accepts these are serious offences. He denies the commission of the offences.’

He said that on a number of occasions while working as a chef Browning had been responsible for mentoring young people.

Mr Collins said: ‘His health is not good’, adding that Browning, who appeared in the dock with the aid of a walking stick, has diabetes and heart issues.

Browning was placed on the sex offenders’ register.