A Cumnock creep who sexually assaulted two girls under 13 at locations across Ayrshire has been jailed.

Stephen McCafferty was put on the sex offenders register indefinitely by a sheriff who told the 42-year-old he had “betrayed the trust” of his two victims.

McCafferty, of Richmond Terrace, appeared in court for sentencing after being found guilty on five separate charges following a jury trial at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

McCafferty sexually assaulted his first victim at an address in Irvine in December 2016.

He went on to attack the same girl on various occasions during that same month and the month that followed – and carried out similar vile assaults on her on various occasions between January 21, 2017 and August 18, 2018.

He later exposed himself to the girl in August 2018 when he opened a door and stood in front of the girl while he was naked.

McCafferty went on to sexually assault a second girl, who was also aged under 13, at an address in Kilmarnock and an unknown property in Ayr on various occasions between June 2021 and April 2022.

As well as performing a sex act in her presence, on one occasion he unzipped the girl’s clothing, exposing her upper chest.

Sentence had been deferred until June 6 for a background social work report after the jury returned its verdicts in April.

Defence solicitor Kevin Corr told Sheriff Murdoch MacTaggart: "He was convicted of five charges on indictment after trial in April; thereafter sentence was deferred for reports.

“We also had the victim impact statement.

"Perhaps it is unsurprising, given the terms of the social work report, that he continues to protest his innocence in these matters. I suppose that is consistent with matters being taken to trial.

"He accepts he has been convicted of very serious offences indeed, and is likely to be dealt with by imposing a custodial sentence. 

“Notwithstanding that, I have been instructed to ask your Lordship to consider a non-custodial sentence.  

"He is a 42-year-old man. These matters are his only involvement with the criminal justice system; he has no previous convictions nor any outstanding matters.

"He lives in a tenancy, alone, which he has had for a year. While currently unemployed, prior to that he is someone who has demonstrated a successful work history and has made a contribution to society.

"The obvious difficulty, other than the gravity of the offences, is that standing his position, he is assessed as unsuitable for supervision under the Moving Forward Making Changes programme [which aims to change sex offenders’ abusive behaviour].

"I ask to your Lordship consider a restriction of liberty order and a high tariff of unpaid work. If your Lordship is not with me, he is realistic."

Sheriff MacTaggart told McCafferty: "You committed sexual offending against two young girls, both under the age of 16. They were people you were trusted to be in the company of, and you betrayed that trust.

"In those circumstances, in my view, the only appropriate sentence for such conduct is a custodial one."

McCafferty remained frozen faced as he was sentenced to two years in prison; he will be supervised for a further year upon his release.

The sheriff also told McCafferty that he would be made subject to the sex offender notification requirements for an indefinite period.

Family and friends of McCafferty’s victims, who were present in court for the sentencing, told the Chronicle afterwards they would have liked to see him get a longer prison sentence, but were “glad he got the jail and was put on the sex offenders register indefinitely”.