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Merseyside man Francis Ward found guilty at High Court in Edinburgh in connection with serious sexual offences against young children in the Highlands

By Court Reporter

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Francis Ward
Francis Ward

A 69-year-old man has been convicted at the High Court in Edinburgh in connection with serious sexual offences against children in the Highlands.

Francis Ward (69), of Merseyside, was found guilty of a number of serious sexual offences against two children aged between eight and 12 years between 2012 and 2014.

He is due to be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh at a later date.

Detective Inspector Anna Johnston, of the National Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said the victims and their families had show immense courage during the investigation.

"These young children trusted Ward," she said. "However, he violated this trust and abused these children when they were at their most vulnerable.

"I would like to thank the victims and their families for their assistance during this inquiry.

"It is very difficult to speak about these types of crimes and they have showed immense courage during this investigation.

"I hope that his conviction can bring them some solace in that the person responsible for these despicable actions has been held to account and they can now move forward with their lives.

"This conviction should send out a clear message that Police Scotland is committed to bringing the perpetrators of sexual offences to justice, while providing all the relevant support and assistance to those that require it."

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