Scottish Church Elder Guilty Of Sexually Abusing Pensioners

Ronald Allstaff
Ronald Allstaff was placed on the sex offenders register at Perth Sheriff Court


“A Perthshire church elder who sexually assaulted two parishioners has been told by a sheriff that he may be jailed for the offences.

Ronald Allstaff, 73, carried out more than 20 assaults on the female pensioners over the course of seven months last year.

A charge relating to a third woman, who has since died, was dropped.

Allstaff, from Bridge of Earn, admitted committing the assaults and will be sentenced in April.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register at Perth Sheriff Court.

Fiscal depute Michael Sweeney told the court that Allstaff touched his first victim’s breasts without warning while he was alone with her in her home.

The fiscal said the pensioner was distressed and tried to dismiss Allstaff’s attack as a one-off, but he returned and sexually assaulted her on two further occasions.

‘Regular occurrence’

The victim eventually broke down and told another church member and it then emerged that Allstaff had been carrying out identical attacks on another member of the congregation.

She described how Allstaff regularly “pounced” on her from behind and had to be pushed off as he told her: “It’s just a bit of fun, you like it.”

Mr Sweeney said: “She recalls 20 instances of the accused sexually assaulting her while pouncing on her from behind.

“It was all against her will. The sexual assaults became a regular occurrence.”

Solicitor Cliff Culley, defending, said Allstaff had never been in trouble before and it was “unusual” that he had started offending at his age.

Sheriff William Wood said: “I would have to say a custodial sentence is uppermost in my mind at the moment.

“Clearly he has behaved in a particularly predatory and manipulative way over an extended period which seems to me might make a custodial sentence the only appropriate one.””

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