A SAUCHIE man who claimed to be a "support worker" for abused kids has been sentenced for sexually assaulting a child.

Robert McKechnie appeared in the dock at Alloa Sheriff Court to find out his fate on Thursday, October 29.

The 35-year-old was found guilty of three charges by Sheriff Craig Harris following a two-day trial back in February.

During the trial, the court heard McKechnie put his hand on a 14-year-old boy's upper thigh, while whispering to him: "What would you do if I raped you?"

That sexual assault took place at an address in Clackmannanshire between the evening of May 31 and early hours of June 1 last year.

At the time of the offence, the boy was sitting on a couch watching a movie with family, friends, and McKechnie – a family friend.

Later that night, McKechnie assaulted a 14-year-girl who was also at the property, by grabbing her arm then pulling her hair.

And he went on to further assault the boy, by entering his bedroom and repeatedly pushing him.

At the trial, McKechnie claimed all the allegations against him were false, and said: "I've been set up here."

He suggested the reason he'd been "set up" was due to his homosexuality.

And he even claimed: "I've worked as a support worker with abused kids for 11 years."

Despite denying the charges, Sheriff Craig Harris found him guilty of all three.

Disruption caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic meant McKechnie was only sentenced for the offences last week, months after being convicted.

When he appeared in the dock for sentencing, he was representing himself and had brought a red folder.

When asked if there was anything he wanted to say about the offences, he retrieved a printout of an email from the folder, which was passed to the sheriff.

The contents of that email were not alluded to, but Sheriff Harris said: "I can't deal with that information; that's a separate matter which I think you have raised with the police and procurator fiscal."

After some more discussion, McKechnie said: "I'm appealing against the lawyer who mucked my case up."

Sheriff Harris made it clear he would not be discussing that, then outlined that a background report showed McKechnie still denied all the offences.

But he noted the report suggested an alternative to a custodial sentence was available.

The sheriff said: "These offences are serious; you have however never been sentenced to a period of imprisonment before.

"I can only sentence you to a period of imprisonment if no other sentence would be appropriate – that's the legal requirement."

Sheriff Harris then placed McKechnie, of Craigview, on a community payback order for three years.

Under that order, he will be supervised for three years, and take part on the Moving Forward Making Changes programme for sex offenders.

He was also prohibited from having contact with anyone under the age of 18 unless authorised by his supervising officer, and his name was added to the sex offenders register.