Paedophile avoids sentencing after social services delay

Paedophile Richard Tattam from North Marston
Paedophile Richard Tattam from North Marston

A paedophile who admitted sexually abusing two young girls has avoided being sentenced for his crimes because of a delay with Thames Valley social services.

Richard Tattam, from North Marston appeared at the High Court in Livingston, Scotland this week. But a judge told him that his fate couldn’t be sealed because background reports hadn’t been made available – for the second time.

Judge Lady Scott said she would be submitting a formal complaint to Thame Valley social services, the agency under which Tattam has been living since the breakdown of his marriage.

Although originally from North Marston, Tattam was married and living in Scotland when the abuse began.

Tattam targeted two girls in the sustained campaign, one of which was aged just nine.

The offences only came to light when one of the girls told her boyfriend and another indicated what was going on to her doctor.

Tattam had bought his young victims gifts including sex toys and told one of them that by telling anyone what was happening, she would ruin her family’s lives.

He also tried to show the pair pornography.

When the paedophile first appeared in Stranraer Sheriff Court in February, background reports were called for from Thames Valley social services.

Having read the reports in time for sentencing in March, Sheriff Kenneth Robb took the decision to pass the case to High Court because he judged his sentencing restrictions to be too lenient for the case.

Tattam then appeared at the High Court in April for sentencing, but the court was told technological issues had prevented a report being compiled in time.

When this was the excuse again on Wednesday, Lady Scott called the delay ‘unacceptable’ and said she would be minded to sentence him next time regardless of any reports being made available.

Tattam, a former BT engineer, will now be deferred until July 30 and his name has already been added to the sex offenders’ register. He was remanded in custody for sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh.