Fiddler faces jail after sending indecent messages to girls

Ewan Stark at Dundee Sheriff Court
Ewan Stark at Dundee Sheriff Court

A fiddler from a top Fife folk band was today (Thursday) facing jail after he admitted sending sick sexual messages to a series of young girls to whom he was giving music lessons, including one in Stornoway.

Falkland man Ewan Stark, who was thrown out of the Lomond Ceilidh Band when the allegations surfaced, was snared after his wife found naked picture he had sent to a teenage girl on his phone.

She then shopped him to the police - which led to four other victims being found.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard Stark met his first three victims through his band - described as the “long established supergroup of the Scottish folk scene” and who have played sessions on BBC radio.

He taught his first victim the fiddle from the age of 12 - and when she was 14 she began receiving “inappropriate, sexual” messages from him.

Fiscal depute Susan Ruta told the court: “They said things such as ‘are you going to wear something skimpy’, ‘lying in bed thinking of you’, and ‘when you come for your lesson wear something skimpy’.

“She told her mother of the messages and stopped all contact, including her lessons.

“The second complainer was her best friend and received messages on Facebook.

Ms Ruta went on to say the had been getting lessons from another band member.

“The messages to her said things like ‘it’s hot, what are you wearing to bed’.

“Both girls felt uncomfortable with this.

“He met the third girl in Stornoway when the band were invited by a local group to be guest musicians with them.

“She was 16 at the time.

“That evening the accused messaged her on Facebook around midnight.

“She remembered he was very forward and they exchanged messages and text messages.

“She thought he was very flirty and said he wanted to ‘cuddle and have sex with her’.

“On New Year’s Eve 2012 she received a message from the accused which included an indecent photo.

“He asked her to respond with a naked photo of herself but refused.”

That picture was later found by Stark’s now ex-wife after rumours circulated their village about his conduct.

She then reported it to police sparking the investigation.

Miss Ruta added that Stark later worked at the Lomond Tavern in Falkland, where he met two further girls aged 14 and 15.

He sent them “sleazy” messages, including one that stated “do you want to spoon with me” and another stating: “I could climb in through your bedroom window at night for a cuddle.”

Further messages added “you are good looking and hot”, “would you tuck me in” and “you are a good girl, I don’t believe you haven’t spooned before”.

Stark, 39, of Backdykes Terrace, pleaded guilty to one charge of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour and four charges under the Sexual Offences Scotland Act.

The offences took place between May 2009 and September 2014 at addresses in Cupar, Ladybank, Stornoway and Glenrothes.

Defence solicitor Gemma Miller said: “When the complainers took an interest in him he felt good being able to keep the conversation going and he felt like he mattered to them.

“He has lost friends, his marriage and his employment and was assaulted by the father of one of the complainers since this came to light.”

Sheriff Michael Wood deferred sentence until October for social work background reports and released Stark on bail meantime.