Vile ex-football coach and Boys' Brigade leader sexually abused kids for two decades

Craig Menzies
-Credit: (Image: Police Scotland)

A vile ex-football coach and former Boys' Brigade leader has been jailed for sexually abusing young boys over the course of two nearly decades.

Craig Menzies, 55, abused seven boys as young as ten while in his care between 1986 and 2004. The beast targeted a number of his victims at various locations across Scotland during his spell as a unit leader with the 118th Boys' Brigade Company.

His campaign of terror was heard during a trial at the High Court in Glasgow earlier this year. On May 29, Menzies pleaded guilty to seven charges.

He was today sentenced to 12 years behind bars with a further three years on licence. He has also been added to the sex offenders register indefinitely.

The court heard Menzies would supply the young boys with booze before assaulting them and showing them pornographic images. In the mid to late 80s, Menzies indecently assaulted a boy during a BB trip to a campsite in Leven, Fife.

The child - who was aged 13 or 14 - was intoxicated and asleep when the abuse began. A second boy, aged around 12 or 13, was targeted during a camping trip at the West Highland Way, near Fort William, in the early to mid-90s.

Menzies gave the boy alcohol and showed him pornographic magazines before sexually abusing him. A third boy, aged around 12 or 13, was targeted by the unit leader at a campsite in Glencoe in the early 90s.

A fourth teenager was indecently assaulted during an unofficial camping trip to the Isle of Skye that had been arranged by Menzies in the mid-90s. At the time, a number of Boys Brigade members were present with the victim, who was their friend.

Menzies became involved with the Whitecart Angels Baseball Club in the mid-1990s when he met his fifth victim, then aged around 10-years-old. He admitted using lewd, indecent, and libidinous practices and behaviour towards the boy on various occasions in the early to mid 90s.

The sixth victim, aged around 13, met Menzies through a family friend and would take part in ‘fitness sessions’ held at Bellahouston Park or at the accused’s home address. Menzies admitted sexually abusing the boy on an occasion in the early to mid-2000s.

The paedophile was the manager and physiotherapist for Cart Castle Youth Football Club in Glasgow when he targeted his seventh victim in the early 2000s. The boy, aged around 13 at the time the abuse began, was shown pornographic films and abused at Menzies’ home.

Scotland’s Procurator Fiscal for High Court Sexual Offending, Katrina Parkes said: "Menzies used his position and community links to prey on vulnerable young boys who should have been safe in his care.

“His depraved offending affected many, who now live with the traumatic consequences of his actions. I would like to commend their bravery in coming forward. Their strength has resulted in his conviction.

“COPFS prosecutors are committed to justice for victims of child sexual abuse, no matter how long ago the offences occurred. I would urge any victim of similar crime not to suffer in silence but to report it and seek support. Our prosecutors will use every tool available in seeking justice.”

Detective Inspector Colin Moffat, National Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “Menzies has admitted to a campaign of sexual violence against youngsters spanning three decades. He abused his position as a trusted adult to these children and now faces the consequences of his despicable actions.

“I hope his conviction and sentencing will offer some form of justice to those involved, who have shown incredible strength throughout the reporting and court process.

“Police Scotland is committed to tackling all forms of sexual crimes, regardless of when they occurred. I’d urge anyone who has been a victim of such offences to come forward knowing we will fully investigate and you will be supported by our specially trained officers and partner agencies.”

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