A 74 year-old man who sexually abused boys over three decades was today jailed for nine years.
Ronald Hardman pled guilty to the offences which took place between March 1961 and August 1994 in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire and Drumness Forest, Dumfries and Galloway.
The twelve boys were cadets of the Kilmarnock Air Training Corps (ATC) where Hardman was a volunteer warrant officer.
The offences came to light after police traced and interviewed 300 cadets when the records of the Kilmarnock ATC were recovered in an earlier investigation.
Speaking after the sentencing at the High Court in Glasgow, Procurator Fiscal for Sexual Offences, Catriona Bryden said:
“Ronald Hardman has been sentenced for a course of abusive conduct which he perpetrated over three decades.
“His conduct involved the repeated sexual abuse of young boys, some as young as 11 and 12, frequently accompanied with grooming and controlling behaviours.
“Many of these victims have suffered years of anxiety and trauma as a result of Hardman’s criminality and the grave breach of trust and abuse of position on his part.
“It is their courage in coming forward to report what had happened to them that has allowed us take prosecutorial action.
“I strongly encourage anyone who has been a victim of any such offence, whenever it may have occurred, to report this to the police in the confidence that they will be treated with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity by the police and our expert prosecutors.”