By Shaun Milne
A SHAMED Scots gym coach was jailed for three years today over a sordid campaign of abuse against girls aged as young as seven which spanned more than two decades.
Mitch Dolphin, 51, stuck his hands down young girl’s leotards, felt their breasts and even stuck his tongue in their mouths to satisfy his depravity.
The sickening offences took place between 1986 and 2008 while he was the trusted head gymnastic coach at Lothian Gymnastic Centre based at Loanhead in Midlothian.
Area Procurator Fiscal Morag McLaughlin today praised the “courage” of his victims all through the trial which finally saw the filthy coach found guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court of seven charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous practice.
He was also convicted of three charges of sexual assault.
After he was sent down Fiscal McLaughlin said: “Mitchell Dolphin took advantage of his position and the trust put in him by his victims and their families to carry out sexual abuse over a period of 22 years.
“This has been a difficult case for all those involved and I am very aware that it has not been easy for his victims to report him to the police and give evidence against him.
“However, they have had the courage to do so and as a result our specialist Sexual Offences Team has been able to work with Lothian and Borders Police to ensure that he was brought to court and convicted.
“Sexual offences are among the most distressing, disturbing crimes in our society, and can present challenges for prosecutors.
“However, the Lothian and Borders Area Sexual Offences team has highly trained, highly experienced staff who specialise in prosecuting sexual offences.
“We are committed to providing victims with the support they need throughout the criminal justice process and to bringing offenders to justice.”
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