Convicted paedophile Gordon Knott jailed again for abusing care home boys

Knott wrestled with his victims, his trial was told

Gordon Knott has been jailed for a further four years

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A convicted paedophile has been sent back to jail after being found guilty of further historical child sex offences committed while working as a care home worker in Edinburgh.

Gordon Knott has been sentenced to four years in prison, a decade after he was freed from his original sentence, after two more victims spoke out against him.

Knott's latest trial heard that he committed the offences between 1973 and 1981. He wrestled with the victims and groomed one of them by taking him out on a motorbike.

Jurors were told that Knott  - one of the first male 'house parents' appointed to look after disadvantaged children in Edinburgh children's homes - began abusing one of the boys when he was just five years old, and warned both of them not to tell anyone. One of the victims said that that "if I had a gun I would have shot him," while the other said he had left Scotland as soon as he could, traumatised by the abuse he suffered.

Last month, a jury found Knott guilty of three charges of indecency against the two victims who brought fresh claims.

Lady Scott, sentencing, told Knott "you have been convicted by the jury of the repeated, calculated and predatory sexual abuse of two young boys, when you were responsible for their care, within a children’s home, between 1973 and 1977 and against one boy in 1981.

“In respect of the first child, you abused him when he was between five and six years old on three occasions within the children’s home and on a trip out.

“In respect of the second child, you sexually abused him when he was between eight and ten years old on what he described as ‘every weekend or every other weekend’. Later, away from the home, you abused him when he was 11 years old.

“You issued threats not to tell. Rather than protecting them in your role as house father, you abused them for your own sexual gratification. They were terrified of you.

“You have been previously convicted in this court in 1997 of essentially the same course of sexual abuse against other children, including similar conduct within the same children’s home. You were sentenced at that time to 16 years' imprisonment and you have served that sentence. I take this into account.

“The background report states that since your release in 2008 you have not re-offended, that you have shown good behaviour and you have successfully completed your period on licence. You have produced good character references, you have clearly been a carer of others and you have a supportive family.

“You are now aged 64 years of age and it is suggested in the background report that your age and relocation reduces the likelihood of future harm. These are factors in your favour.  

“Had I been considering these offences in isolation I would have imposed a much longer sentence. But, having regard to the fact these charges would have formed part of the previous indictment had they been reported at the same time and having regard to the fact you have served a very substantial sentence for that indictment, I have significantly reduced the length of this sentence."

Knott, of Carstairs in South Lanarkshire, was originally sentenced to 16 years in jail for abusing eight boys and a girl in the 1970s and 1980s, while he worked in the Clerwood and Glenallan children's homes.