A pensioner who plied schoolgirls with alcohol and invited them to spend the night with him was caught when officers found two of the victims in his flat.

James Sorley told two police constables he was home alone but they spotted handbags and searched the property.

And they discovered two young teenagers before another two showed up.

As they investigated further they found the 69-year-old had been inviting 11 girls aged 13 and 14 to his home in Risk Street, Dumbarton, over four months.

He also performed a sex act in front of two of them and sent messages including “I wish I could see you all in knickers and bras” and “I just wish the three of you could arrange to stay the night it would be a good laugh you can get p***** and know you are safe”.

He was jailed for 15 months when he appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court last week after admitting a string of offences.

Procurator fiscal depute Martina McGuigan told the court: “The witnesses are 13 and 14-year-old girls who stated they were in regular attendance at Sorley’s address as he purchased alcohol for them. The drink of choice for many of the girls was Dragon Soop.

“One of the witnesses told how he was fully clothed on her first visit but thereafter on subsequent visits Sorley was wearing a white robe which was open.”

He was naked underneath and his genitals were exposed.

She went on: “Sorley supplied her and others with Dragon Soop, Smirnoff Ice, Mad Dog and Sorley would drink vodka and coke.”

Ms McGuigan told of a specific incident in February 2019 when one of the girls said Sorley performed a sex act in front of her and another girl and that he was “offering that she can stay the night when she was concerned that her parents would see her drunk”.

The court was told how Sorley would often buy one girl alcohol because “she had been such a good friend to him”.

Ms McGuigan went on: “The others spoke of an occasion when Sorley was changing into outdoor clothing to go and purchase alcohol for her and others and to him doing so in the living room of the flat in full view of the girls there.

“He removed his robe and said ‘oh you’ve all seen me naked before’.”

Sorley was eventually snared in February last year when police officers went to his home on an unrelated matter.

The court was told that Sorley answered the door and invited the officers in.

Ms McGuigan said: “Sorley stated he was home alone although the officers observed two handbags within. On questioning him, he stated they were left there by neighbours.

“On checking the address they observed two girls in the kitchen, who identified themselves. They stated they had only arrived five minutes prior to police arriving.

“While in attendance two further young females attended, stating they were there to see friends.

“The girls were returned home and left in the care of their parents.”

Sorley was questioned about his conduct and then cautioned and charged, to which he replied: “It’s not true”.

Two mobile phones seized and checks found text conversations between him and the girls.

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Text messages found on Sorley’s phone included: “Thanks for coming tonight I adore you all you make me feel so happy I know I am old but you bring a sparkle to my life and I love it.

“I wish I could see you all in knickers and bras now that would seriously please an old man. Love you sexy.

“I love taking naughty with you don’t get embarrassed please please send me more texts.

“I have been out and got your dragon soups make sure I can see plenty of sexy legs love you xxx Jimmy J.

“I just wish the three of you could arrange to stay the night it would be a good laugh you can get p***** and know you are safe xxx Jimmy J.”

At a previous appearance he admitted charges of supplying booze to the teenage girls and performing a sex act in front of two of them as well as supplying the alcohol to them, making inappropriate sexual comments and inviting them to stay the night.

He admitted exposing his genitals in a sexual manner to four teenagers on a number of occasions, as well as performing a sex act in front of two 14-year-old girls.

The crimes took place between October 2018 and February last year at his home.

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Sorley’s lawyer Brian McGuire told the court: “He comes across as someone who is somewhat isolated and lonely and he indicated that he enjoyed the company of the girls.

“The girls went back so they clearly saw an advantage to them at least in relation to the purchase of alcohol but it shouldn’t have happened.

“Mr Sorley recognises the foolishness of his position and that he did put himself into a situation where this sort of offending came about and he requires to face the consequences of that.”

The solicitor said Sorley had a stroke last May which has “had quite an effect on him” and led to him having various related health difficulties impacting on his balance and eyesight.

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Sheriff William Gallacher told Sorley: “This is an indictment which is remarkable in many ways.

“It’s remarkable because it extends over a period of time, it’s remarkable because it involves a number of children and it’s remarkable because of the persistence of your behaviour.

“What’s also remarkable if that you’re a man of significant years.

“You were in this court in 2012 for an offence similar to this charge and a significant penalty was imposed upon you.

“Your reaction was that this was a situation which you allowed to happen, manipulated to happen and continued to encourage to happen for your own personal gratification.

“You took advantage of the situation for your interests.

“It’s entirely wrong of you to infer that others may be culpable.

“It may be that others could have exercised control but you were the one who created this situation.

“I would fail in my public duty to young children in this community if I failed to impose upon you a custodial sentence to indicate to you and to others that the court will step in to ensure protection is given to youngsters even if they themselves aren’t able to exercise control.”

Sorley was jailed for 15 months and put on the sex offenders register.

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